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G.R. No.

L-10126 October 22, 1957 Our new Civil Code amply provides for the responsibility of common carrier to its passengers
and their goods. For purposes of reference, we are reproducing the pertinent codal
OSCAR and ALFREDO BATACLAN, represented by their Natural guardian, SALUD
VILLANUEVA VDA. DE BATACLAN, plaintiffs-appellants, ART. 1733. Common carriers, from the nature of their business and for reasons of
vs. public policy, are bound to observe extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the
MARIANO MEDINA, defendant-appellant. goods and for the safety of the passengers transported by them, according to all
the circumstances of each case.
Such extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods is further expressed in
Shortly after midnight, on September 13, 1952 bus no. 30 of the Medina Transportation, articles 1734, 1735, and 1745, Nos. 5, 6, and 7, while the extra ordinary diligence
operated by its owner defendant Mariano Medina under a certificate of public convenience, for the safety of the passengers is further set forth in articles 1755 and 1756.
left the town of Amadeo, Cavite, on its way to Pasay City, driven by its regular chauffeur,
Conrado Saylon. There were about eighteen passengers, including the driver and conductor. ART. 1755. A common carrier is bound to carry the passengers safely as far as
Among the passengers were Juan Bataclan, seated beside and to the right of the driver, human care and foresight can provide, using the utmost diligence of very cautious
Felipe Lara, sated to the right of Bataclan, another passenger apparently from the Visayan persons, with a due regard for all the circumstances.
Islands whom the witnesses just called Visaya, apparently not knowing his name, seated in
the left side of the driver, and a woman named Natalia Villanueva, seated just behind the ART. 1756. In case of death of or injuries to passengers, common carriers are
four last mentioned. At about 2:00 o'clock that same morning, while the bus was running presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently, unless they prove that
within the jurisdiction of Imus, Cavite, one of the front tires burst and the vehicle began to they observed extraordinary diligence as prescribed in articles 1733 and 1755
zig-zag until it fell into a canal or ditch on the right side of the road and turned turtle. Some
of the passengers managed to leave the bus the best way they could, others had to be
ART. 1759. Common carriers are liable for the death of or injuries to passengers
helped or pulled out, while the three passengers seated beside the driver, named Bataclan,
through the negligence or willful acts of the former's employees, although such
Lara and the Visayan and the woman behind them named Natalia Villanueva, could not get
employees may have acted beyond the scope of their authority or in violation of
out of the overturned bus. Some of the passengers, after they had clambered up to the road,
the order of the common carriers.
heard groans and moans from inside the bus, particularly, shouts for help from Bataclan and
Lara, who said they could not get out of the bus. There is nothing in the evidence to show
whether or not the passengers already free from the wreck, including the driver and the This liability of the common carriers does not cease upon proof that they exercised
conductor, made any attempt to pull out or extricate and rescue the four passengers trapped all the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of their
inside the vehicle, but calls or shouts for help were made to the houses in the neighborhood. employees.
After half an hour, came about ten men, one of them carrying a lighted torch made of
bamboo with a wick on one end, evidently fueled with petroleum. These men presumably ART. 1763. A common carrier responsible for injuries suffered by a passenger on
approach the overturned bus, and almost immediately, a fierce fire started, burning and all account of the willful acts or negligence of other passengers or of strangers, if the
but consuming the bus, including the four passengers trapped inside it. It would appear that common carrier's employees through the exercise of the diligence of a good father
as the bus overturned, gasoline began to leak and escape from the gasoline tank on the side of a family could have prevented or stopped the act or omission.
of the chassis, spreading over and permeating the body of the bus and the ground under and
around it, and that the lighted torch brought by one of the men who answered the call for We agree with the trial court that the case involves a breach of contract of transportation for
help set it on fire. hire, the Medina Transportation having undertaken to carry Bataclan safely to his
destination, Pasay City. We also agree with the trial court that there was negligence on the
That same day, the charred bodies of the four deemed passengers inside the bus were part of the defendant, through his agent, the driver Saylon. There is evidence to show that at
removed and duly identified that of Juan Bataclan. By reason of his death, his widow, Salud the time of the blow out, the bus was speeding, as testified to by one of the passengers, and
Villanueva, in her name and in behalf of her five minor children, brought the present suit to as shown by the fact that according to the testimony of the witnesses, including that of the
recover from Mariano Medina compensatory, moral, and exemplary damages and attorney's defense, from the point where one of the front tires burst up to the canal where the bus
fees in the total amount of P87,150. After trial, the Court of First Instance of Cavite awarded overturned after zig-zaging, there was a distance of about 150 meters. The chauffeur, after
P1,000 to the plaintiffs plus P600 as attorney's fee, plus P100, the value of the merchandise the blow-out, must have applied the brakes in order to stop the bus, but because of the
being carried by Bataclan to Pasay City for sale and which was lost in the fire. The plaintiffs velocity at which the bus must have been running, its momentum carried it over a distance of
and the defendants appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals, but the latter endorsed 150 meters before it fell into the canal and turned turtle.
the appeal to us because of the value involved in the claim in the complaint.
There is no question that under the circumstances, the defendant carrier is liable. The only agents of the carrier come under the codal provisions above-reproduced, particularly,
question is to what degree. The trial court was of the opinion that the proximate cause of the Articles 1733, 1759 and 1763.
death of Bataclan was not the overturning of the bus, but rather, the fire that burned the
bus, including himself and his co-passengers who were unable to leave it; that at the time the As regard the damages to which plaintiffs are entitled, considering the earning capacity of
fire started, Bataclan, though he must have suffered physical injuries, perhaps serious, was the deceased, as well as the other elements entering into a damage award, we are satisfied
still alive, and so damages were awarded, not for his death, but for the physical injuries that the amount of SIX THOUSAND (P6,000) PESOS would constitute satisfactory
suffered by him. We disagree. A satisfactory definition of proximate cause is found in Volume compensation, this to include compensatory, moral, and other damages. We also believe
38, pages 695-696 of American jurisprudence, cited by plaintiffs-appellants in their brief. It is that plaintiffs are entitled to attorney's fees, and assessing the legal services rendered by
as follows: plaintiffs' attorneys not only in the trial court, but also in the course of the appeal, and not
losing sight of the able briefs prepared by them, the attorney's fees may well be fixed at
. . . 'that cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any EIGHT HUNDRED (P800) PESOS for the loss of merchandise carried by the deceased in the
efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the result bus, is adequate and will not be disturbed.
would not have occurred.' And more comprehensively, 'the proximate legal cause
is that acting first and producing the injury, either immediately or by setting other There is one phase of this case which disturbs if it does not shock us. According to the
events in motion, all constituting a natural and continuous chain of events, each evidence, one of the passengers who, because of the injuries suffered by her, was
having a close causal connection with its immediate predecessor, the final event in hospitalized, and while in the hospital, she was visited by the defendant Mariano Medina,
the chain immediately effecting the injury as a natural and probable result of the and in the course of his visit, she overheard him speaking to one of his bus inspectors, telling
cause which first acted, under such circumstances that the person responsible for said inspector to have the tires of the bus changed immediately because they were already
the first event should, as an ordinary prudent and intelligent person, have old, and that as a matter of fact, he had been telling the driver to change the said tires, but
reasonable ground to expect at the moment of his act or default that an injury to that the driver did not follow his instructions. If this be true, it goes to prove that the driver
some person might probably result therefrom. had not been diligent and had not taken the necessary precautions to insure the safety of his
passengers. Had he changed the tires, specially those in front, with new ones, as he had been
It may be that ordinarily, when a passenger bus overturns, and pins down a passenger, instructed to do, probably, despite his speeding, as we have already stated, the blow out
merely causing him physical injuries, if through some event, unexpected and extraordinary, would not have occurred. All in all, there is reason to believe that the driver operated and
the overturned bus is set on fire, say, by lightning, or if some highwaymen after looting the drove his vehicle negligently, resulting in the death of four of his passengers, physical injuries
vehicle sets it on fire, and the passenger is burned to death, one might still contend that the to others, and the complete loss and destruction of their goods, and yet the criminal case
proximate cause of his death was the fire and not the overturning of the vehicle. But in the against him, on motion of the fiscal and with his consent, was provisionally dismissed,
present case under the circumstances obtaining in the same, we do not hesitate to hold that because according to the fiscal, the witnesses on whose testimony he was banking to support
the proximate cause was the overturning of the bus, this for the reason that when the the complaint, either failed or appear or were reluctant to testify. But the record of the case
vehicle turned not only on its side but completely on its back, the leaking of the gasoline before us shows the several witnesses, passengers, in that bus, willingly and unhesitatingly
from the tank was not unnatural or unexpected; that the coming of the men with a lighted testified in court to the effect of the said driver was negligent. In the public interest the
torch was in response to the call for help, made not only by the passengers, but most prosecution of said erring driver should be pursued, this, not only as a matter of justice, but
probably, by the driver and the conductor themselves, and that because it was dark (about for the promotion of the safety of passengers on public utility buses. Let a copy of this
2:30 in the morning), the rescuers had to carry a light with them, and coming as they did decision be furnished the Department of Justice and the Provincial Fiscal of Cavite.
from a rural area where lanterns and flashlights were not available; and what was more
natural than that said rescuers should innocently approach the vehicle to extend the aid and In view of the foregoing, with the modification that the damages awarded by the trial court
effect the rescue requested from them. In other words, the coming of the men with a torch are increased from ONE THOUSAND (P1,000) PESOS TO SIX THOUSAND (P6,000) PESOS, and
was to be expected and was a natural sequence of the overturning of the bus, the trapping of from SIX HUNDRED PESOS TO EIGHT HUNDRED (P800) PESOS, for the death of Bataclan and
some of its passengers and the call for outside help. What is more, the burning of the bus can for the attorney's fees, respectively, the decision appealed is from hereby affirmed, with
also in part be attributed to the negligence of the carrier, through is driver and its conductor. costs.
According to the witness, the driver and the conductor were on the road walking back and
forth. They, or at least, the driver should and must have known that in the position in which
the overturned bus was, gasoline could and must have leaked from the gasoline tank and
soaked the area in and around the bus, this aside from the fact that gasoline when spilled,
specially over a large area, can be smelt and directed even from a distance, and yet neither
the driver nor the conductor would appear to have cautioned or taken steps to warn the
rescuers not to bring the lighted torch too near the bus. Said negligence on the part of the
G.R. No. 117954 April 27, 2000 however, swerved dangerously towards them. At this juncture, Rolando Manabat shouted at
the jeep "Pesteng yawa-a kamo, Manligis man kamo" (You devils, why did you try to run over
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, us?). A passenger inside the jeepney shouted back "Noano man diay, isog mo?" (Why? Are
vs. you brave?). Immediately thereafter, two gunshots rang out in the air, accompanied by
ORLANDO ACURAM, accused-appellant. sparks coming from the front right side of the jeepney. Then Rolando shouted, "Agay. I was
shot." The vehicle did not stop but instead speeded towards the direction of Cagayan de Oro
City. Wounded on the right knee, Rolando was brought by his companions to the Cagayan de
Oro Medical Center. Later on, they were informed that Rolando needed blood transfusion
and so they transferred him at around 11:25 P.M. to the Northern Mindanao Regional
On appeal is the decision rendered on August 24, 1994, by the Regional Trial Court of Hospital in the same city.
Cagayan de Oro City, Branch 22, in Criminal Case No. 91-1161, finding accused-appellant
Orlando Acuram guilty of murder.
Upon arrival at the hospital, Rolando was examined by Dr. Ismael Naypa, Jr. The doctor found
the victim's blood pressure to be just forty over zero (40/0) and the victim's right leg was
On September 30, 1991, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Benber Apepe charged appellant heavily bandaged. He decided to operate on the victim when the latter's blood pressure
with the crime of murder, allegedly committed as follows: stabilized. At about 5:00 A.M. the following day, the victim underwent surgery.
Unfortunately, the victim died at around 11:00 A.M. Dr. Naypa later testified that the cause
On June 29, 1991, at about 7:00 o'clock in the evening, at Poblacion, El Salvador; of Rolando's death was "secondary to huddle respiratory syndrome secondary to blood loss,
Misamis Oriental, which is within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court, the secondary to gunshot wounds", or briefly, massive loss of blood due to gunshot wound. He
above-named accused, with intent to kill and treachery did, then and there, stated that under normal circumstances, the wound would not necessarily cause death but in
wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously and with the use of his armalite rifle, shoot at this case where the wound transected the major part of the leg, the wound was fatal. He
one Orlando1Manabat who was just standing on the highway waiting for a ride clarified that the victim sustained only one gunshot wound which entered at the front
towards home, thus, hitting and wounding the latter on the right leg or thigh, portion of the right knee and exited at the back of the right knee, causing two wounds.5
which caused his death the following day.
The El Salvador police conducted investigation on the incident. It was discovered that
CONTRARY TO and in violation of Article 248, paragraph 1, of the Revised Penal appellant Orlando Acuram, a policeman assigned with the 421st PNP Company based at San
Code.2 Martin, Villanueva, Misamis Oriental, was among the passengers of the errant jeepney. He
was seated at the front, right side of the jeepney and was the only one among its passengers
Upon arraignment appellant, assisted by counsel, entered a plea of not guilty to the who was carrying a firearm. Pending investigation, he was restricted to the camp effective
charge.3 Thereafter, trial on the merits ensued. Subsequently, the trial court rendered July 1, 1991, upon orders of his commanding officer, Major Rodolfo De La Piedra.6 Appellant
judgment, disposing as follows: was later surrendered by his commanding officer to the custody of the court on the basis of
the warrant of arrest issued by MCTC Judge Evelyn Nery.7 On motion by the prosecution and
without objection from the defense, the trial court suspended appellant from the service and
WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing facts, convincingly proved by the ordered his detention at the provincial jail.8
prosecution, the accused, ORLANDO ACURAM, is hereby found guilty beyond
reasonable doubt, of the crime of MURDER, qualified by treachery, and is meted
the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to indemnify the heirs of the deceased During the trial, appellant admitted that he was on board the mentioned jeepney and had a
ROLANDO MANABAT the jurisprudential sum of fifty thousand (P50,000.00) pesos, gun at that time but denied firing it. He claimed that it was impossible for him to fire his rifle
without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and to pay the cost of the during that time since he was sitting at the front seat of the jeepney, sandwiched between
suit. the driver and the latter's father-in-law. Moreover, he said that the rifle was locked and
wrapped by his jacket and its barrel was even pointed towards the driver. 9

The trial court found the version of the defense weak, self-serving and unreliable. On the
basis of the evidence presented by the prosecution, the court found appellant guilty as
The records disclose that on June 29, 1991, at around seven o'clock in the evening, Rolando charged. Insisting on his innocence, appellant readily filed his notice of appeal. 10 In his brief,
Manabat, Oscar Manabat, Bartolome Nabe, and Peterson Valendres, after the day's work, appellant raises the following errors allegedly committed by the trial court:
proceeded to the market in El Salvador, Misamis Oriental, to buy fish. Since no fish was
available at that time, they decided to head for home instead. They went to the national
highway, stood at the right side facing east towards the direction of Cagayan de Oro City and I
waited for a ride there. They flagged down an approaching passenger jeepney which,
THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN CONCLUDING THAT ACCUSED APPELLANT On his second assignment of error, however, we find convincing merit.1wphi1 Appellant
TOOK FLIGHT OR ESCAPED AFTER THE NIGHT OF THE INCIDENT OR IN FAILING TO asserts that the trial court erred in concluding that the killing was qualified by treachery. On
CONSIDER THE MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCE OF VOLUNTARY SURRENDER. this point, we agree. For treachery to be considered an aggravating circumstance, there must
II be proof that the accused consciously adopted a mode of attack to facilitate the perpetration
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DECLARING THAT THE KILLING WAS ATTENDED BY THE of the killing without risk to himself. 14 In this case, the shooting was done at the spur of the
QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCE OF TREACHERY, GRANTING ARGUENDO THAT THE moment. As observed by the trial court, the victim had shouted damning curses at the driver
ACCUSED APPELLANT IS GUILTY. and the passengers of the jeepney. The shooting was on instantaneous response to the
III cursing, as appellant correctly claimed. 15 Treachery cannot be appreciated where the
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN RULING THAT ACCUSED-APPELLANT IS THE accused shot the victim as a result of a rash and impetuous impulse rather than from a
POSITIVELY TESTED. Thirdly, appellant contends that the trial court erred in ruling that he was the perpetrator of
IV the crime. He claims he was not conclusively identified and the alleged fatal weapon was not
THAT THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN DISREGARDING EVIDENCE POINTING positively tested. True, prosecution witnesses did not positively identify appellant as the one
TO THE INNOCENCE OF THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT, THAT IS, THE EXISTENCE OF who fired the gun at the victim. Nevertheless, direct evidence of the commission of the crime
EFFICIENT INTERVENING CAUSE, WHICH IS THE PROXIMATE CAUSE OF THE DEATH is not the only matrix where the trial court may draw its conclusions and findings of guilt. 17It
OF THE VICTIM. 11 is settled that conviction may be based on circumstantial evidence provided that the
following requisites must concur: (a) there is more than one circumstance; (b) the facts from
We shall take up in seriatim the challenges posed by appellant to the credibility and which the inferences are derived are proven; and (c) the combination of all the
sufficiency of the evidence for the prosecution. We shall also consider the weight and circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. 18Circumstantial
credibility of his defense. evidence could be of similar weight and probative value as direct evidence. From direct
evidence of a minor fact or facts, by a chain of circumstances the mind is led intuitively, or by
To begin with, while appellant denies that he fled and hid after the shooting incident, we find a conscious process of reasoning, towards a conviction that from said fact or facts some
that his behavior proves otherwise. Appellant admits that he was at the scene of the crime at other facts may be validly inferred. 19 No greater degree of certainty is required when the
the time the shooting happened. Considering that he is a law enforcement officer, the evidence is circumstantial than when it is direct. In either case, what is required is that there
unusual incident should have at least elicited his curiosity and he should have inquired about be proof beyond reasonable doubt that the crime was committed and that the accused
it. However, he chose to ignore the incident and go his way. 12 That a policeman could display committed the crime. 20
such indifference to a crime committed in his presence is highly incredible. While it was true
that he reported for duty the day after the incident, the following day, he was ordered by his As noted by the trial court and the Solicitor General, the evidence for the prosecution is
commanding officer restricted within the camp pending investigation of the case. By this replete with details, duly proven by the prosecution and to some extent by admissions of the
time, appellant must have learned that his commanding officer had received a radio message defense, enough to sustain the guilt of appellant. These are: (1) The appellant was a former
and that he was already a suspect. As the trial court noted, no superior officer will hold back member of the Philippine Constabulary and, during the incident, was a member of the
from any of his men involved, such a grave charge. Despite these, appellant did not present Philippine National Police. He was skilled in handling firearms. (2) The appellant was issued a
himself before the police in El Salvador, Misamis Oriental. Instead, he was conveniently firearm (armalite rifle) by his command, which he was then carrying with him before, during
nowhere to be found. and after the incident; (3) At the particular date, time and place of the incident, appellant
was carrying his duly issued armalite rifle inside the jeepney from where the gunfire came
Thus, appellant's first contention that he is entitled to the mitigating circumstance of from. (4) The appellant was sitting on the extreme front-right-side of the jeepney where the
voluntary surrender, in our view, is quite untenable. The essence of voluntary surrender is sparks of the gunbursts were seen and heard by the witnesses. (5) There were no other
spontaneity and the intent of the accused to give himself up and submit himself persons with a rifle inside the jeepney except the appellant. (6) The empty shells of an
unconditionally to the authorities either because he acknowledges his guilt or he wishes to armalite rifle were recovered at the place where the fatal shooting occurred. (7) The
save them the trouble and expense necessarily incurred in his search and capture. 13 In this appellant did not go forward to the authorities to present himself until after a warrant of
case, it was appellant's commanding officer who surrendered him to the custody of the arrest was issued and, in fact, until his actual arrest. 21
court. Being restrained by one's superiors to stay within the camp without submitting to the
investigating authorities concerned, is not tantamount to voluntary surrender as The aforecited circumstances taken together constitute an unbroken chain leading to a
contemplated by law. The trial court is correct in not appreciating the mitigating reasonable conclusion that appellant, to the exclusion of others, was responsible for the
circumstance of voluntary surrender in appellant's favor. victim's death. They constitute proof beyond reasonable doubt that appellant was the
perpetrator of the offense. It is the height of desperation on appellant's part to insist that
there should be an eyewitness to the precise moment the shot was fired considering the
sudden and completely unexpected shooting of the victim. 22 Here, circumstantial evidence hereby found GUILTY of HOMICIDE and sentenced to suffer a prison term of 10 years of the
suffices. medium period of prision mayor, as minimum, to 15 years and 10 months and 1 day of the
medium period of reclusion temporal, as maximum, with accessory penalties provided by
Appellant's insistence on his innocence in view of the absence of paraffin and ballistic tests, law, to indemnify the heirs of the deceased Rolando Manabat in the amount of P50,000.00,
in our view, is far from convincing. Suffice it to state that even negative findings of the without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs.1wphi1.nt
paraffin test do not conclusively show that a person did not fire a gun. The absence of
nitrates could be explained if a person discharged a firearm with gloves on, or if he SO ORDERED.
thoroughly washed his hands thereafter. 23

Lastly, in his attempt to exculpate himself, appellant blames the death of the victim on the
lack of prompt and proper medical attention given. He insists that the delay in giving proper
medical attendance to the victim constitutes an efficient intervening cause which exempts
him from criminal responsibility. This assertion is disingenuous, to say the least. Appellant
never introduced proof to support his allegation that the attending doctors in this case were
negligent in treating the victim. On the contrary, Dr. Ismael Naypa, Jr., testified that the
attending doctor at the Cagayan de Oro Medical Center tried his best in treating the victim by
applying bandage on the injured leg to prevent hemorrhage. He added that the victim was
immediately given blood transfusion at the Northern Mindanao Regional Hospital when the
doctor found out that the victim had a very low blood pressure. Thereafter, the victim's
blood pressure stabilized. Then, the doctor operated the victim as the main blood vessel of
the victim's right leg was cut, thereby causing massive loss of blood. The surgery was finished
in three hours. Unfortunately, the victim died hours later. We cannot hold the attending
doctors liable for the death of the victim. The perceived delay in giving medical treatment to
the victim does not break at all the causal connection between the wrongful act of the
appellant and the injuries sustained by the victim. It does not constitute efficient intervening
cause. The proximate cause of the death of the deceased is the shooting by the appellant. It
is settled that anyone inflicting injuries is responsible for all the consequences of his criminal
act such as death that supervenes in consequence of the injuries. The fact that the injured
did not receive proper medical attendance would not affect appellant's criminal
responsibility. The rule is founded on the practical policy of closing to the wrongdoer a
convenient avenue of escape from the just consequences of his wrongful act. If the rule were
otherwise, many criminals could avoid just accounting for their acts by merely establishing a
doubt as to the immediate cause of death. 24

To conclude, since the qualifying circumstance was not proved in this case, the crime
committed is only homicide, not murder. Under Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code, the
applicable penalty for homicide is only reclusion temporal. As there is neither aggravating nor
mitigating circumstance found by the trial court or shown after a review of the records, the
penalty in this case shall be fixed in its medium period of reclusion temporal, which ranges
from a minimum of 14 years, 8 months and 1 day to a maximum of 17 years and 4 months.
Further applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the imposable penalty shall be within the
range of prision mayor as a minimum to reclusion temporal in its medium period as the
maximum. The range of prision mayor is from 6 years and 1 day to 12 years. The span
of reclusion temporal, medium, is from 14 years, 8 months and 1 day to 17 years and 4

WHEREFORE, the assailed DECISION of the Regional Trial Court of Cagayan de Oro City,
Branch 22, in Criminal Case No. 91-1161, is hereby MODIFIED. Appellant Orlando Acuram is
G.R. No. 180219 November 23, 2011 Eduardo on his nape and fell down on his back (patihaya). Thereafter, the appellant ran
away, while he (Jose) and his neighbors brought the victims to the hospital. On June 6, 1995,
VIRGILIO TALAMPAS y MATIC, Petitioner, Jose executed a Sworn Statement at the Bian Police Station.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent. Another witness, Francisco Matic, testified that prior to the death of his brother Ernesto who
was then 44 years old, he (Ernesto) was driving a tricycle on a boundary system and earned
DECISION 100.00 daily, although not on a regular basis because sometimes Ernesto played in a band
for 100.00 per night.
Jerico Matic, eldest son of Ernesto, alleged that he loves his father and his death was so
painful to him that he could not quantify his feelings in terms of money. The death of his
By petition for review on certiorari, Virgilio Talampas y Matic (Talampas) seeks the review of
father was a great loss to them as they would not be able to pursue their studies and that
the affirmance of his conviction for homicide (for the killing of the late Ernesto Matic y
nobody would support them financially considering that the money being sent by their
Masinloc) by the Court of Appeals (CA) through its decision promulgated on August 16,
mother in the amount of 2,000.00 to 2,500.00 every three (3) months, would not be

The Regional Trial Court, Branch 25, in Bian, Laguna (RTC) had rejected his pleas of self-
Dr. Valentin Bernales likewise, testified that he was the one who conducted the autopsy on
defense and accident and had declared him guilty of the felony under the judgment rendered
the body of Ernesto and found one gunshot in the body located at the back of the costal
on June 22, 2004.2
area, right side, sixteen (16) centimeters from the spinal column. This shot was fatal as it
involved the major organs such as the lungs, liver and the spinal column which caused
Antecedents Ernestos death.

The information filed on November 17, 1995, to which Talampas pleaded not guilty, averred The last witness, Josephine Matic, wife of Ernesto, testified that her husband was laid to rest
as follows:3 on July 18, 1995 and that his untimely death was so painful and that she could not provide
her children with sustenance. She asked for the amount of 200,000.00 for her to be able to
That on or about July 5, 1995, in the Municipality of Bian, Province of Laguna, Philippines send her children to school.
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, accused VIRGILIO TALAMPAS, with intent
to kill, while conveniently armed with a short firearm and without any justifiable cause, did On his part, Talampas interposed self-defense and accident. He insisted that his enemy had
then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and shoot one Ernesto been Eduardo Matic (Eduardo), not victim Ernesto Matic (Ernesto); that Eduardo, who was
Matic y Masinloc with the said firearm, thereby inflicting upon him gunshot wound at the then with Ernesto at the time of the incident, had had hit him with a monkey wrench, but he
back of his body which directly caused his instantaneous death, to the damage and prejudice had parried the blow; that he and Eduardo had then grappled for the monkey wrench; that
of his surviving heirs. while they had grappled, he had notice that Eduardo had held a revolver; that he had thus
struggled with Eduardo for control of the revolver, which had accidentally fired and hit
CONTRARY TO LAW. Ernesto during their struggling with each other; that the revolver had again fired, hitting
Eduardo in the thigh; that he had then seized the revolver and shot Eduardo in the head; and
The State presented as witnesses Jose Sevillo, Francisco Matic, Jerico Matic, Dr. Valentin that he had then fled the scene when people had started swarming around.
Bernales, and Josephine Matic. The CA summarized their testimonies thuswise:4

Prosecution witness Jose Sevillo (Jose) who allegedly witnessed the incident in question,
testified that on July 5, 1995 at about 7:00 oclock in the evening, he together with Eduardo
Matic (Eduardo) and Ernesto Matic (Ernesto) were infront of his house, along the road in
Zona Siete (7), Wawa, Malaban, Bian, Laguna, repairing his tricycle when he noticed the Ruling of the RTC
appellant who was riding on a bicycle passed by and stopped. The latter alighted at about
three (3) meters away from him, walked a few steps and brought out a short gun, a revolver,
On June 22, 2004, the RTC, giving credence to the testimony of eyewitness Jose Sevilla, found
and poked the same to Eduardo and fired it hitting Eduardo who took refuge behind Ernesto.
Talampas guilty beyond reasonable doubt of homicide,5 and disposed:
The appellant again fired his gun three (3) times, one shot hitting Ernesto at the right portion
of his back causing him (Ernesto) to fall on the ground with his face down. Another shot hit
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the court finds the accused guilty beyond reasonable The CA deleted the award of temperate damages in view of the awarding of actual damages,
doubt of the crime of Homicide, with one mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender, pointing out that the two kinds of damages were mutually exclusive.8
and hereby sentences him to suffer an indeterminate penalty of IMPRISONMENT ranging
from TEN (10) years and One (1) day of prision mayor, as minimum, to FOURTEEN (14) years Issue
and EIGHT (8) months of reclusion temporal, as maximum. He is likewise ordered to pay the
heirs of Ernesto Matic y Masinloc the following sums, to wit:
Hence, Talampas is now before the Court, continuing to insist that his guilt was not proven
beyond reasonable doubt, and that the lower courts both erred in rejecting his claim of self-
1. 50,000.00 as and for death indemnity; defense and accidental death.

2. 50,000.00 as and for moral damages; Ruling

3. 25,000.00 as and for actual damages; and The petition for review is denied for lack of merit.

4. 30,000.00 as and for temperate damages. Firstly, the elements of the plea of self-defense are: (a) unlawful aggression on the part of the
victim; (b) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel the unlawful
Furnish Public Prosecutor Nofuente, Atty. Navarroza, the private complainant and accused aggression; and (c) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the accused in defending
with a copy of this decision. himself.9

SO ORDERED.6 In the nature of self-defense, the protagonists should be the accused and the victim. The
established circumstances indicated that such did not happen here, for it was Talampas who
Ruling of the CA had initiated the attack only against Eduardo; and that Ernesto had not been at any time a
target of Talampas attack, he having only happened to be present at the scene of the attack.
In reality, neither Eduardo nor Ernesto had committed any unlawful aggression against
Talampas appealed to the CA, contending that:
Talampas. Thus, Talampas was not repelling any unlawful aggression from the victim
(Ernesto), thereby rendering his plea of self-defense unwarranted.
Secondly, Talampas could not relieve himself of criminal liability by invoking accident as a
THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE GUILT OF THE ACCUSED- defense. Article 12(4) of the Revised Penal Code,10 the legal provision pertinent to accident,
APPELLANT FOR THE CRIME CHARGED HAS BEEN PROVEN BEYOND REASONABLE contemplates a situation where a person is in fact in the act of doing something legal,
DOUBT. exercising due care, diligence and prudence, but in the process produces harm or injury to
someone or to something not in the least in the mind of the actor an accidental result
II flowing out of a legal act.11 Indeed, accident is an event that happens outside the sway of our
will, and although it comes about through some act of our will, it lies beyond the bounds of
THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN NOT FINDING THAT THE DEATH OF humanly foreseeable consequences.12 In short, accident presupposes the lack of intention to

III The records eliminate the intervention of accident. Talampas brandished and poked his
revolver at Eduardo and fired it, hitting Eduardo, who quickly rushed to seek refuge behind
Ernesto. At that point, Talampas fired his revolver thrice. One shot hit Ernesto at the right
THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN NOT FINDING THAT THE ACCUSED- portion of his back and caused Ernesto to fall face down to the ground. Another shot hit
APPELLANT ACTED IN DEFENSE OF HIMSELF WHEN HE GRAPPLED WITH EDUARDO Eduardo on the nape, causing Eduardo to fall on his back. Certainly, Talampas acts were by
MATIC. no means lawful, being a criminal assault with his revolver against both Eduardo and Ernesto.

Still, the CA affirmed the conviction based on the RTCs factual and legal conclusions, and And, thirdly, the fact that the target of Talampas assault was Eduardo, not Ernesto, did not
ruled that Talampas, having invoked self-defense, had in effect admitted killing Ernesto and excuse his hitting and killing of Ernesto. The fatal hitting of Ernesto was the natural and direct
had thereby assumed the burden of proving the elements of self-defense by credible, clear consequence of Talampas felonious deadly assault against Eduardo. Talampas poor aim
and convincing evidence, but had miserably failed to discharge his burden.7
amounted to aberratio ictus, or mistake in the blow, a circumstance that neither exempted
him from criminal responsibility nor mitigated his criminal liability. Lo que es causa de la
causa, es causa del mal causado (what is the cause of the cause is the cause of the evil
caused).13 Under Article 4 of the Revised Penal Code,14 criminal liability is incurred by any
person committing a felony although the wrongful act done be different from that which he

Nonetheless, the Court finds the indeterminate sentence of 10 years and one day of prision
mayor, as minimum, to 14 years and eight months, as maximum, legally erroneous.

The penalty for homicide under Article 246 of the Revised Penal Code is reclusion
temporal.1avvphi1 Under Section 1 of the Indeterminate Sentence Law,15 the court, in
imposing a prison sentence for an offense punished by the Revised Penal Code, or its
amendments, is mandated to prescribe 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 Revised Penal Code, and the minimum term shall be within the range
of the penalty next lower to that prescribed by the Revised Penal Code for the offense. With
the absence of aggravating or mitigating circumstances, the imposable penalty is reclusion
temporal in its medium period, or 14 years, eight months, and one day to 17 years and four
months. This is pursuant to Article 64 of the Revised Penal Code.16 It is such period that the
maximum term of the indeterminate sentence should be reckoned from. Hence, limiting the
maximum term of the indeterminate sentence at only 14 years and eight months
contravened the express provision of the Indeterminate Sentence Law, for such penalty was
within the minimum period of reclusion temporal. Accordingly, the Court must add one day
to the maximum term fixed by the lower courts.

The Court finds to be unnecessary the increment of one day as part of the minimum term of
the indeterminate sentence. It may be true that the increment did not constitute an error,
because the minimum term thus fixed was entirely within the parameters of the
Indeterminate Sentence Law. Yet, the addition of one day to the 10 years as the minimum
term of the indeterminate sentence of Talampas may occasion a degree of inconvenience
when it will be time for the penal administrators concerned to consider and determine
whether Talampas is already qualified to enjoy the benefits of the Indeterminate Sentence
Law. Hence, in order to simplify the computation of the minimum penalty of the
indeterminate sentence, the Court deletes the one-day increment from the minimum term of
the indeterminate sentence.

WHEREFORE, the Court AFFIRMS the decision promulgated on August 16, 2007 finding
VIRGILIO TALAMPAS y MATIC guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of homicide, and
IMPOSES the indeterminate sentence of 10 years of prision mayor, as minimum, to 14 years,
eight months, and one day of reclusion temporal, as maximum.

The petitioner shall pay the costs of suit.

G.R. No. L-1477 January 18, 1950 right from wrong, fully aware of the nature of the crime he committed and is
equally decided to suffer for it in any manner or form.
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs. His version of the circumstances of the crime, his conduct and conversation relative
JULIO GUILLEN, defendant-appellant. thereto, the motives, temptations and provocations that preceded the act, were all
those of an individual with a sound mind.
On the other hand he is an man of strong will and conviction and once arriving at a
This case is before us for review of, and by virtue of appeal from, the judgment rendered by decision he executes, irrespective of consequences and as in this case, the
the Court of First Instance of Manila in case No. 2746, whereby Julio Guillen y Corpus, or Julio commission of the act at Plaza Miranda.
C. Guillen, is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder and multiple
frustrated murder, as charged in the information, and is sentenced to the penalty of death, What is of some interest in the personality of Julio C. Guillen is his commission of
to indemnify the of the deceased Simeon Valera (or Barrela) in the sum of P2,000 and to pay some overt acts. This is seen not only in the present instance, but sometime when
the costs. an employee in la Clementina Cigar Factory he engaged in a boxing bout Mr.
Manzano, a Span-wanted to abuse the women cigar makers, and felt it his duty to
Upon arraignment the accused entered a plea of not guilty to the charges contained in the defend them. One time he ran after a policeman with a knife in hand after being
information. provoked to a fight several times. He even challenged Congressman Nueno to a
fight sometime before when Mr. Nueno was running for a seat in the Municipal
Board of the City of Manila, after hearing him deliver one of his apparently
Then the case was tried in one of the branches of the Court of First Instance of Manila
outspoken speeches.
presided over by the honorable Buenaventura Ocampo who, after the submission of the
evidence of the prosecution and the defense, rendered judgment as above stated.
All these mean a defect in his personality characterized by a weakness of
censorship especially in relation to rationalization about the consequences of his
In this connection it should be stated that, at the beginning of the trial and before
arraignment, counsel de oficio for the accused moved that the mental condition of Guillen be
examined. The court, notwithstanding that it had found out from the answers of the accused
to questions propounded to him in order to test the soundness of his mind, that he was not In view of the above findings it is our considered opinion that Julio C. Guillen is not
suffering from any mental derangement, ordered that Julio Guillen be confined for Hospital, insane but is an individual with a personality defect which in Psychiatry is termed,
there to be examined by medical experts who should report their findings accordingly. This Constitutional Psychopathic Inferiority.
was done, and, according to the report of the board of medical experts, presided over by Dr.
Fernandez of the National Psychopathic Hospital, Julio Guillen was not insane. Said report Final Diagnosis
(Exhibit L), under the heading "Formulation and Diagnosis," at pages 13 and 14, reads:
Not insane: Constitutional Psychopathic Inferiority, without psychosis.
In view of the above-quoted findings of the medical board, and notwithstanding the contrary
Julio C. Guillen was placed under constant observation since admission. There was opinion of one Dr. Alvarez, who was asked by the defense to give his opinion on the matter,
not a single moment during his whole 24 hours daily, that he was not under the court ruled that Guillen, not being insane, could be tired, as he was tired, for the offenses
observation. he committed on the date in question.

The motive behind the commission of the crime is stated above. The veracity of this THE FACTS
motivation was determined in the Narcosynthesis. That the narco-synthesis was
successful was checked up the day after the test. The narco-synthesis proved not Upon careful perusal of the evidence and the briefs submitted by counsel for the accused,
only reveal any conflict or complex that may explain a delusional or hallucinatory the Solicitor General and their respective memoranda, we find that there is no disagreement
motive behind the act. between the prosecution and the defense, as to the essential facts which caused the filing of
the present criminal case against this accused. Those facts may be stated as follows:
Our observation and examination failed to elicit any sign or symptom of insanity in
Mr. Julio C. Guillen. He was found to be intelligent, always able to differentiate
On the dates mentioned in this decision, Julio Guillen y Corpus, although not affirmed with Thousands have died in Bataan; many more have mourned the loss of their
any particular political group, has voted for the defeated candidate in the presidential husbands, of their sons, and there are millions now suffering. Their deeds bore no
elections held in 1946. Manuel A. Roxas, the successful candidate, assumed the office of fruits; their hopes were frustrated.
President of the Commonwealth and subsequently President of the President of the
Philippine Republic. According to Guillen, he became disappointed in President Roxas for his I was told by my conscience and by my God that there was a man to be blamed for
alleged failure to redeem the pledges and fulfill the promises made by him during the all this: he had deceived the people, he had astounded them with no other purpose
presidential election campaign; and his disappointment was aggravated when, according to than to entice them; he even went to the extent of risking the heritage of our
him, President Roxas, instead of looking after the interest of his country, sponsored and future generations. For these reasons he should not continue any longer. His life
campaigned for the approval of the so-called "parity" measure. Hence he determined to would mean nothing as compared with the welfare of eighteen million souls. And
assassinate the President. why should I not give up my life too if only the good of those eighteen million souls.

After he had pondered for some time over the ways and means of assassinating President These are the reasons which impelled me to do what I did and I am willing to bear
Roxas, the opportunity presented itself on the night of March 10, 1947, when at a popular up the consequences of my act. I t matters not if others will curse me. Time and
meeting held by the Liberal Party at Plaza de Miranda, Quiapo, Manila attended by a big history will show, I am sure, that I have only displayed a high degree of patriotism
crowd, President Roxas, accompanied by his wife and daughter and surrounded by a number in my performance of my said act.
of ladies and gentlemen prominent in government and politics, stood on a platform erected
for that purpose and delivered his speech expounding and trying to convince his thousand of
Hurrah for a free Philippines.
listeners of the advantages to be gained by the Philippines, should the constitutional
amendment granting American citizens the same rights granted to Filipino nationals be
adopted. Cheers for the happiness of every Filipino home.

Guillen had first intended to use a revolver for the accomplishment of his purpose, but May God pity on me.
having lost said firearm, which was duly licensed, he thought of two hand grenades which
were given him by an American soldier in the early days of the liberation of Manila in Amen.
exchange for two bottles of whisky. He had likewise been weighing the chances of killing JULIO C. GUILLEN
President Roxas, either by going to Malacaan, or following his intended victim in the latter's A copy (Exhibit B-1) of the original in Tagalog (Exhibit B), made at the request of Guillen by
trips to provinces, for instance, to Tayabas (now Quezon) where the President was scheduled his nephew, was handed to him only at about 6 o'clock in the afternoon of March 10, 1947,
to speak, but having encountered many difficulties, he decided to carry out his plan at the for which reason said Exhibit B-1 appears unsigned, because he was in a hurry for that
pro-parity meeting held at Plaza de Miranda on the night of March 10, 1947. meeting at Plaza de Miranda.

On the morning of that he went to the house of Amando Hernandez whom he requested to When he reached Plaza de Miranda, Guillen was carrying two hand grenades concealed in a
prepare for him a document (Exhibit B), in accordance with their pervious understanding in paper bag which also contained peanuts. He buried one of the hand grenades (Exhibit D), in a
the preceding afternoon, when they met at the premises of the Manila Jockey Club on the plant pot located close to the platform, and when he decided to carry out his evil purpose he
occasion of an "anti-parity" meeting held there. On account of its materially in this case, we stood on the chair on which he had been sitting and, from a distance of about seven meters,
deem it proper to quote hereunder the contents of said document. An English translation he hurled the grenade at the President when the latter had just closed his speech, was being
(Exhibit B-2) from its original Tagalog reads: congratulated by Ambassador Romulo and was about to leave the platform.

FOR THE SAKE OF A FREE PHILIPPINES General Castaeda, who was on the platform, saw the smoking, hissing, grenade and without
losing his presence of mind, kicked it away from the platform, along the stairway, and
I am the only one responsible for what happened. I conceived it, I planned it, and I towards an open space where the general thought the grenade was likely to do the least
carried it out all by myself alone. It took me many days and nights pondering over harm; and, covering the President with his body, shouted to the crowd that everybody
this act, talking to my own conscience, to my God, until I reached my conclusion. It should lie down. The grenade fell to the ground and exploded in the middle of a group of
was my duty. persons who were standing close to the platform. Confusion ensued, and the crowd
dispersed in a panic. It was found that the fragments of the grenade had seriously injured
I did not expected to live long; I only had on life to spare. And had I expected to Simeon Varela (or Barrela ) who died on the following day as the result of mortal wounds
lives to spare, I would not have hesitated either ton sacrifice it for the sake of a caused by the fragments of the grenade (Exhibits F and F-1) Alfredo Eva, Jose Fabio, Pedro
principle which was the welfare of the people. Carrillo and Emilio Maglalang.
Guillen was arrested by members of the Police Department about two hours after the at President Roxas, and causing it to explode, he could not prevent the persons who were
occurrence. It appears that one Angel Garcia, who was one spectators at that meeting, saw around his main and intended victim from being killed or at least injured, due to the highly
how a person who was standing next to him hurled an object at the platform and, after the explosive nature of the bomb employed by him to carry out his evil purpose.
explosion, ran away towards a barber shop located near the platform at Plaza de Miranda.
Suspecting that person was the thrower of the object that exploded, Garcia went after him Guillen, testifying in his own behalf, in answer to questions propounded by the trial judge
and had almost succeeded in holding him, but Guillen offered stiff resistance, got loose from (page 96 of transcript) supports our conclusion. He stated that he performed the act
Garcia and managed to escape. Garcia pursued him, but some detectives, mistaking the voluntarily; that his purpose was to kill the President, but that it did not make any difference
former for the real criminal and the author of the explosion, placed him under arrest. In the to him if there were some people around the President when he hurled that bomb, because
meantime, while the City Mayor and some agents of the Manila Police Department were the killing of those who surrounded the President was tantamount to killing the President, in
investigating the affair, one Manuel Robles volunteered the information that the person with view of the fact that those persons, being loyal to the President being loyal to the President,
whom Angel Garcia was wrestling was Julio Guillen; that he (Manuel Robles) was acquainted were identified with the latter. In other word, although it was not his main intention to kill
with Julio Guillen for the previous ten years and had seen each other in the plaza a few the persons surrounding the President, he felt no conjunction in killing them also in order to
moments previous to the explosion. attain his main purpose of killing the President.

The police operatives interrogated Garcia and Robles, and Julio Guillen was, within two hours The facts do not support the contention of counsel for appellant that the latter is guilty only
after the occurrence, found in his home at 1724 Juan Luna Street, Manila, brought to the of homicide through reckless imprudence in regard to the death of Simeon Varela and of less
police headquarters and identified by Angel Garcia, as the same person who hurled towards serious physical injuries in regard to Alfredo Eva, Jose Fabio, Pedro Carrillo and Emilio
the platform the object which exploded and whom Garcia tried to hold when he was running Maglalang, and that he should be sentenced to the corresponding penalties for the different
away. felonies committed, the sum total of which shall not exceed three times the penalty to be
imposed for the most serious crime in accordance with article 70 in relation to article 74 of
During the investigation conducted by the police he readily admitted his responsibility, the Revised Penal Code.
although at the same time he tried to justify his action in throwing the bomb at President
Roxas. He also indicated to his captors the place where he had hidden his so called last will In throwing hand grenade at the President with the intention of killing him, the appellant
quoted above and marked Exhibit B, which was then unsigned by him and subsequently acted with malice. He is therefore liable for all the consequences of his wrongful act; for in
signed at the police headquarters. accordance with article 4 of the Revised Penal Code, criminal liability is incurred by any
person committing felony (delito) although the wrongful act done be different from that
Re-enacting the crime (Exhibit C), he pointed out to the police where he had buried (Exhibit which he intended. In criminal negligence, the injury caused to another should be
C-1) the other hand grenade (Exhibit D), and, in the presence of witnesses he signed a unintentional, it being simply the incident of another act performed without malice. (People
statement which contained his answers to question propounded to him by Major A. Quintos vs. Sara, 55 Phil., 939.) In the words of Viada, "in order that an act may be qualified as
of the Manila Police, who investigated him soon after his arrest (Exhibit E). From a perusal of imprudence it is necessary that either malice nor intention to cause injury should intervene;
his voluntary statement, we are satisfied that it tallies exactly with the declarations and where such intention exists, the act should qualified by the felony it has produced even
made by him on the witness stand during the trial of this case. though it may not have been the intention of the actor to cause an evil of such gravity as that
produced.' (Viada's Comments on the Penal Code, vol. 7, 5th ed., p.7.) And, as held by this
THE ISSUES Court, a deliberate intent to do an unlawful act is essentially inconsistent with the idea of
reckless imprudence. (People vs. Nanquil, 43 Phil., 232.) Where such unlawful act is wilfully
done, a mistake in the identity of the intended victim cannot be considered as reckless
In the brief submitted by counsel de oficio for this appellant, several errors are assigned
imprudence. (People vs. Gona, 54 Phil., 605)
allegedly committed by the trial court, namely: first, "in finding the appellant guilty of murder
for the death of Simeon Varela"; second, "in declaring the appellant guilty of the complex
crime of murder and multiple frustrated murder"; third, "in applying sub-section 1 of article Squarely on the point by counsel is the following decision of the Supreme Court of Spain:
49 of the Revised Penal Code in determining the penalty to be imposed upon the accused";
andfourth, "in considering the concurrence of the aggravating circumstances of nocturnity Cuestion 62. Se presenta A, a las ocho de la noche, en el estanco de B a comprar
and of contempt of public authorities in the commission of crime." tabaco, y habiendose negado este a darselo al fiado, se retira a quel sin mediar
entre ambos disputa alguna; pero; trnscurrido un cuarto de hora, hallandose el
The evidence for the prosecution, supported by the brazen statements made by the accused, estanquero despachando a C, se oye la detonacion de un arma de fuego disparada
shows beyond any shadow of doubt that, when Guillen attended that meeting, carrying with por A desde la calle, quedando muertos en el acto C y el estanquero; supuesta la no
him two hand grenades, to put into execution his preconceived plan to assassinate President intencion en A de matar a C y si solo al estanquero, cabe calificar la muerte de este
Roxas, he knew fully well that, by throwing one of those two hand grenades in his possession de homicidio y la de c de imprudencia temeraria? La Sala de lo Criminal de la
Auudiencia de Granada lo estimo asi, y condeno al procesado a catorse anos de committed among others the offense of assault upon a person in authority, for in fact his
reclusion por el homivcidio y a un ao de prision correctional por la imprudencia. efforts were directed towards the execution of his main purpose of eliminating President
Aparte de que la muerte del estanquero debio calificarse de assesinato y no de Roxas for his failure to redeem his electoral campaign promises, by throwing at him in his
homicidio, por haberse ejecutado con aleviosa. es evidente que la muerte de C, official capacity as the Chief Executive of the nation the hand grenade in question, yet, in
suponiendo que no se propusiera ejecutaria el procesado, no pudo calificarse de view of the appropriate allegation charging Guillen with the commission of said offense, we
imprudencia teme raria, sino que tambien debio declararsele responsable de la shall refrain making a finding to that effect.
misma, a tenor de lo puesto en este apartado ultimo del articulo; y que siendo
ambas muertes producidas por un solo hecho, o sea por un solo disparo, debio The complex crimes of murder and multiple attempted murder committed by the accused
imponerse al reo la pena del delito de asesinato en el grado maximo, a tenor de lo with the single act of throwing a hand grenade at the President, was attended by the various
dispuesto en el art. 90 del Codigo, o sea la pena de muerte. Se ve, pues, claramente aggravating circumstances alleged in the information, without any mitigating circumstance.
que en el antedicha sentencia, aparte de otros articulos del Codigo, se infringio por But we do not deem it necessary to consider said aggravating circumstances because in any
la Sala la disposicion de este apartado ultimo del articulo muy principalmente, y asi event article 48 of the Revised Penal Code above-quoted requires that the penalty for the
lo declaro el Tribunal Supremo en S. de 18 junio de 1872. (Gaceta de 1,0 de most serious of said crimes be applied in its maximum period. The penalty for murder
agosto.) (I Viada, 5th Ed., p. 42.) is reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death. (Art. 248.)

Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code provides as follows: It is our painful duty to apply the law and mete out to the accused the extreme penalty
provided by it upon the facts and circumstances hereinabove narrated.
Art. 48. Penalty for Complex Crimes. When a single act constitutes two or more
grave or less grave felonies, or when an offense is a necessary means for The sentence of the trial court being correct, we have no alternative but to affirm it, and we
committing the other, the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed, the hereby do so by a unanimous vote. The death sentence shall be executed in accordance with
same to be applied in its maximum period. article 81 of the Revised Penal Code, under authority of the Director of Prisons, on such
working day as the trial court may fix within 30 days from the date the record shall have been
We think it is the above-quoted article and not paragraph 1 of article 49 that is applicable. remanded. It is so ordered.
The case before us is clearly governed by the first clause of article 48 because by a single act,
that a throwing highly explosive hand grenade at President Roxas, the accused committed
two grave felonies, namely: (1) murder, of which Simeon Varela was the victim; and (2)
multiple attempted murder, of which President Roxas, Alfredo Eva, Jose Fabio, Pedro Carrillo
and Emilio Maglalang were the injured parties.

The killing of Simeon Varela was attended by the qualifying circumstance of treachery. In the
case of People vs. Mabug-at, supra, this court held that the qualifying circumstance of
treachery may be properly considered, even when the victim of the attack was not the one
whom the defendant intended to kill, if it appears from the evidence that neither of the two
persons could in any manner put up defense against the attack, or become aware of it. In the
same case it was held that the qualifying circumstance of premeditation may not be properly
taken into the account when the person whom the defendant proposed to kill was different
from the one who became his victim.

There can be no question that the accused attempted to kill President Roxas by throwing a
hand grenade at him with the intention to kill him, thereby commencing the commission of a
felony by over acts, but he did not succeed in assassinating him "by reason of some cause or
accident other than his own spontaneous desistance." For the same reason we qualify the
injuries caused on the four other persons already named as merely attempted and not
frustrated murder.

In this connection, it should be stated that , although there is abundant proof that , in
violation of the provisions of article 148 of the Revised Penal Code, the accused Guillen has
G.R. No. L-4935 October 25, 1909 vuelta, y despues se marcho (when the blow was struck, Simeon staggered and afterwards
went away); and Yotiga that "despues de dar el golpe se retrocedio y levanto los brazos"(after
THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee, the blow was struck, he backed away and threw up his arms). The testimony of these
vs. witnesses is clear, positive, and definite and is wholly uncontradicted, excepted for the
JAMES L. BROBST, defendant-appellant. improbable story told by the accused in his own behalf, when he testified that seeing Saldivar
standing outside his tent, he told him twice to go away and then stepped up to him and
pushed him lightly with the back of his hand, which came in contact with the handle of
Saldivar's bolo, but not with sufficient force to push him back or do him any injury. If it had
been necessary to use force to compel Saldivar to leave the place, it is at least highly
The defendant, James L. Brobst, and another American named Mann, were engaged in work improbable that the accused approaching him from the front would have lightly placed
on a mine located in the municipality of Masbate, where they gave employment to a number the back of his open right hand on Saldivar's left side, without attempting to seize him, or to
of native laborers. Mann discharged one of these number of native laborers. Mann compel him to give around.
discharged one of these laborers named Simeon Saldivar, warned him not to come back on
the premises, and told the defendant not to employ him again, because he was a thief and a
Pedro Leocampo, the only other witness called at the trial who appears to have been present
disturbing element with the other laborers. A few days afterwards, some time after 6 o'clock
when the incident occurred corroborated the testimony of the witness Dagapdap and Yotiga
on the morning of the 10th of July, 1907, Saldivar, in company with three of four others,
as to all that occurred prior to the actual infliction of the blow, which he did not see. He
went to the mine to look for work. The defendant, who at that time was dressing himself
testified that at the time when the accused, standing in his tent, ordered the deceased to
inside his tent, which was erected on the mining property, when he caught sight of Saldivar,
leave, he, the witness, was eating his breakfast, with his back to the accused and the
ordered him off the place, exclaiming in bad Spanish, "Sigue, Vamus!" (Begone). Saldivar
deceased; that hearing the order, he turned his head and saw the accused start toward the
made no move to leave, and although the order was repeated, merely smiled or grinned at
deceased with his arm outstretched, but that at that moment he turned away and did not
the defendant, whereupon the latter became enraged, took three steps toward Saldivar, and
see the accused actually come up to, strike or touch the deceased; that when he saw the
struck him a powerful blow with his closed fist on the left side, just over the lower ribs, at the
accused approaching the deceased, the accused did not have his fist clenched, but that he
point where the handle of Saldivar's bolo lay against the belt from which it was suspended.
could not say whether the blow was struck with the open hand or the closed fist, because at
On being struck, Saldivar threw up his hands, staggered. (dio vueltas spun around
the moment when it is said the accused came up to and touched or struck the deceased, the
helplessly) and without saying a word, went away in the direction of his sister's house, which
witness's head was so turned that he could not and did not see what took place.
stood about 200 yards (100 brazas) away, and about 100 feet up the side of a hill. He died as
he reached the door of the house, and was buried some two or three days later.
No evidence was introduced at the trial which in any wise tends to put in doubt the truth of
the testimony of these witnesses as to the fact that they were present at the time when the
The trial court found the defendant guilty of the crime of homicide (homicidio), marked with
place where the incident occurred; and of this fact we are satisfied that there can be no
extenuating circumstances, defined in subsections 3 and 7 of article 9 of the Penal Code, in
reasonable doubt, although, as frequently happens when ignorant witnesses are testifying in
that the defendant "had no intention of committing so grave an injury as that which he
the courts in these Islands, their evidence is conflicting as to the precise hour by the clock
inflicted," and that he struck the blow "under such powerful excitement as would naturally
when it took place.
produce entire loss of reason and self-control." Sentence of six years and one day of prision
mayor was imposed, and from this sentence defendant appealed to this court.
Some attempt is made to discredit the testimony of Yotiga, because it appears from the
record that in answer to certain questions on his examination-in-chief, he stated that when
Counsel for the appellant, relying mainly on appellant's claim that he did not strike Saldivar,
the blow was struck he was some hundred brazas(200 yards) away. It developed, however,
and that he merely pushed him lightly with the black of his open hand, and relying also on
on examination by the trial judge, that this answer was given under the impression that the
the lack of satisfactory proof of the existence of lesions or external marks of violence on the
question asked was the distance from the mine to the house of the sister of the deceased, as
body of the deceased, contend: first, that the evidence fails to sustain a finding that the
to which considerable testimony was taken; and it is very clear from all the testimony that
deceased came to his death as a result of injuries inflicted by the defendant; and, second,
both these witnesses were standing within a few yards of the defendant when he struck the
that even if it be a fact that the defendant, in lying his hand upon the deceased, contributed
to his death, nevertheless, since the defendant had a perfect right to eject the deceased from
the mining property, he can not be held criminally liable for unintentional injuries inflicted in
the lawful exercise of this right. The testimony of Dagapdap is also criticized because, in answer to the opening questions on
the examination-in-chief, he spoke of the blow inflicted as a bofetada (a slap with the open
hand on the cheek), which, later on in his testimony, he changed to the word puetazo (a
Two witnesses, Dagapdap and Yotiga, who were standing close by the time, swore positively
blow with the fist), as a result, it is intimated, of suggestive questions by counsel for the
that the blow was delivered with the closed fist, from the shoulder (de dentro para fuera),
prosecution. We do not think this criticism well founded, or that the language of the witness
and that it was a hard blow; Dagapdap testifying that, "Al pegar el puetazo, Simeon dio
on which it rests sustains the inference sought to be drawn therefrom. In the first place, it
must be forgotten that the witness was manifestly an ignorant man, unskilled in the use of of the vital organs are located; and immediately thereafter, he stared up the short trail
words, and testifying in a remote province in a native dialect; and that his testimony was leading to his sister's house, and died as he reached the door. In the absence of evidence of
interpreted into the Spanish of the record by an interpreter who might well have been any intervening cause, we think there can be no reasonable doubt that his death resulted
mistaken in selecting the precise Spanish equivalent of the word or words actually used by from the blow.
the witness, and whose use of Spanish throughout the record does not demonstrate such
precision and nicety in the use of words as to justify the laying of too much stress on the Counsel for appellant suggest that death may have been the result of some cause unknown,
phrasing adopted by him in the haste of interpretation in the course of a trial: so that, in our such as a fall, an assault by robbers, or perchance a suicidal frenzy, intervening between the
opinion, the detailed description of the manner in which the blow was inflicted, as given by time when the accused was last seen starting up 200-yard trail to his sister's house, and the
the witness without suggestion or assistance of any kind, is much more decisive as to its time when, as she testified, he died just as he reached her door on his way back from the
nature than the word by which reference to it was made. And in the second place, as appears mine; and that the accused is entitled to the benefit of the doubt. But the doubt which must
from the Diccionario Enciclopedico de la Lengua Castellana and the Diccionario de la Lengua be decided in favor of an accused person in a criminal trial is a reasonable doubt, and not a
por la Academia Espaola, the word "bofetada," when used strictly, connotes not merely a mere whimsical and fanciful doubt, based upon imagined but wholly improbable possibilities,
blow with the open hand, but such a blow struck on the cheek or side of the face, a meaning unsupported by evidence; and while we do not hold that it is absolutely and morally
which the whole testimony of the witness clearly discloses it was not his intention to give to impossible that some other cause could have intervened to bring about the death of Saldivar,
whatever word he did actually make use of in referring to the act. The definition of the word we do hold that there can be no reasonable doubt in the mind of a reasonable man that
"bofetada," as given in the former dictionary, is "a blow which is given on the cheek (mejilla) death was in fact brought about by the blow inflicted by the accused, and was not the result
with the open hand," and in the latter is "a blow given with the open hand, on the side of the of some independent cause intervening during the very short period of time prior to his
face (carillo) or cheek (mejilla) of another." death, during which he was not under observation by witnesses called at the trial.

It has also been suggested that the testimony of the witnesses for the prosecution is Counsel for the appellant enlarge on the fact that accepting defendant's statement that he
inherently improbable, because, as it is said, if the blow had been struck as described by sent the deceased away from the mines about a quarter past six, it would appear from the
them, the injured person would necessarily have "doubled up or over," and not, as appears testimony of the sister of the deceased that about two hours may have elapsed between that
from their testimony, thrown up his hands and staggered away. No expert testimony was time and the time when he arrived at her house. The sister fixed the time of the arrival of her
introduced at the trial upon this point, and while it may, perhaps, be admitted that if the brother at from 7 to 8 o'clock or possibly a little later; but she appears to have been an
blow took effect in the abdominal region, common experience would justify us in expecting ignorant woman who did not know how to read the face of a clock, and it is quite clear that
as a result of the blow, that the injured person would "double up or over," it must not be hers was no more than a rough estimate, based on the height of the sun, and the most that
forgotten that the blow having been delivered over the ribs on the left side, it may as well can fairly be inferred from the testimony is that the deceased was struck early on the
have taken effect in the region of the heart; in the absence of expert testimony we do not morning in question, and that not long afterwards on the same morning, he died at the door
think that in the event, evidence that the injured person threw up his hands and staggered of his sister's house 200 yards away. But even if it be granted that two hours actually did
away is necessarily in conflict with the evidence of the witnesses for the prosecution as to elapsed from the time the deceased left the mines, until he reached his sister's house, this
the weight of the blow and the place where it was inflicted. interval is not long enough to materially weaken the inference that the death resulted from
the blow.
We are satisfied that the evidence of record leaves no room for reasonable doubt that the
defendant struck Saldivar a powerful body blow with his closed fist; and that whatever It is true that no autopsy was had on the body of the deceased, and that a medical officer
authority the defendant may have had to eject the deceased from the mining property and called in by the accused who saw the body, but who does not appear to have examined it
to use physical force to that end in case of need, the blow thus struck was far in excess of very closely, certified that he found no outward lesions or marks of violence; but this
such authority, and was, therefore, unlawful, and can not be excused or justified as an evidence is not sufficient to negative the existence of internal lesions, for the medical
exercise of necessary force in the exercise of a right. The defendant's own testimony does authorities inform us that death may and often does result from a blow over or near the
not indicate that there was any danger to be apprehended from Saldivar, and there is heart or in the abdominal region, notwithstanding the fact that the blow leaves no outward
nothing in the record which would indicate that the defendant had reasonable ground to mark of violence; and there is evidence in the record of the discovery on the cadaver of two
believe that he would offer a violent or even a substantial resistance to an attempt to expel suspicious black spots, one about the place where the blow was struck, and another at or
him from the mining property. near the umbilicus, though the evidence fails to disclose the precise nature of these
discolorations. (Medical Jurisprudence, Taylor, 12th Am. Ed., pp. 310 and 388; Moulin's
We are satisfied also that the deceased came to his death as a result of the blow inflicted by Treatise on Surgery, Hamilton, part 2, chap. 1, p. 151; Tratado de Medicina Legal por Legran
the defendant. Two or three days prior to his death he was employed as a laborer in de Sulle, Vol. II, pp. 206, 207.)
defendant's mine; his sister testified that on the morning of the day he died, he left her
house in apparent good health and went to the mines to look for work; a short time It has been suggested that the deceased may have had a weak heart or some other diseased
afterwards he received a violent blow on his lower left side, a region of the body where many organ, and that but for such physical defect death might not have ensued from the mere
force of the blow inflicted by the defendant. There is no evidence to this effect, and on the necessary to discuss, because even if it be admitted that such errors were committed, they
contrary there is testimony in the record that on the morning before he died he was in do not appear to have in any way wise prejudiced the substantial rights of the defendant.
apparent good health; and the fact that a few days before, he was able to work in the mines,
and that he came to the mines that day in search of work, renders it highly improbable that The judgment of conviction and the sentence imposed by the trial court be and are hereby
he was suffering at the time from any grave organic weakness. But however this may have affirmed, with the costs of this instance against the appellant. So ordered.
been, it has been frequently and justly decided that where death results as a direct
consequence of the use of illegal violence, the mere fact that the diseased or weakened
G.R. No. L-38773 December 19, 1933
condition of the injured person contributed to his death, does not relieve the illegal
aggressor of criminal responsibility. (U. S. vs. Luciano, 2 Phil. Rep., 96; U. S. vs. Montes, 6 Phil.
Rep., 443; see also decisions of supreme court of Spain, March 10, 1871, and June 26, 1980.) THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, plaintiff-appellee,
GINES ALBURQUERQUE Y SANCHEZ, defendant-appellant.
Counsel for appellant also contend that even if it be granted that in unlawfully exercising
force upon the person of the deceased, the appellant caused for contributed to his death,
nevertheless he should at most be convicted of homicidio por imprudencia AVANCEA, C.J.:
temeraria (homicide as a result of reckless negligence), because, manifestly, the unlawful act
was not committed with the intent to kill, and as counsel contend, the striking of the blow by The judgment appealed from finds the appellants Gines Alburquerque guilty of the crime of
the appellant was not an act adapted, or likely (idneo) to inflict a death wound under homicide committed on the person of Manuel Osma and sentences him to eight years and
ordinary circumstances, or reasonably calculated so to do. In support of this contention one day of prision mayor, and to indemnify the heirs of the deceased in the sum of P1,000,
counsel cite decisions of the supreme court of Spain of November 9, 1885, February 10, with costs.
1876, July 5, 1888, and July 12, 1890, and appears to rely especially on the former decision
wherein sentence of homicidio por imprudencia temeria was imposed, the court holding "que The appellant herein, who is a widower of fifty-five years of age and father of nine living
es condicin esencial del delito de homicidio, que el hecho material de que resulte sea children, has been suffering from partial paralysis for some time, walks dragging one leg and
impulsado por voluntad libre encaminada por acto idneo a causar la muerte algun mal has lost control of the movement of his right arm. He has been unable to work since he
fisico que por consecuencia natural la produzca." suffered the stroke of paralysis. One of his daughters was named Maria and another, are
married, while still another one is a nun. With the exemption of the other married daughter
In the case, however, it was proven, and the court found that not only did the defendant not and the nun, of all of them, including the appellant, live with Maria upon whom they depend
intend to kill the deceased but also that he did not intend to do him any physical injury for support.
whatever; but in the case at bar the evidence conclusively establishes the voluntary,
intentional, and unlawful infliction by the accused of a severe blow on the person of the Among the daughters living with Maria, one named Pilar became acquainted and had
deceased; and while it is true that the accused does not appear to have intended to take the intimate relations later with the deceased Manuel Osma about the end of the year 1928. It
life of his victim, there can no doubt that in thus striking the deceased, he intended to do him was then that the appellant became acquainted with the deceased who frequently visited
some injury, at least to the extent of inflicting some degree of physical pain upon him, and he Pilar in his house. The relations between Pilar and the deceased culminated in Pilar's giving
is therefore, criminally responsible for the natural, even if unexpected results of his act, birth to a child. The appellant did not know that his daughter's relations with the deceased
under the provisions of article 1 of the Penal Code, which prescribes that had gone to such extremes, that he had to be deceived with the information that she had
gone to her godfather's house in Singalong, when in fact she had been taken to the Chinese
Any person voluntarily committing a crime or misdemeanor shall incur criminal Hospital for delivery. The appellant learned the truth only when Pilar returned home with her
liability, even though the wrongful act committed be different from that which he child.
had intended to commit.
Naturally the appellant was deeply affected by this incident, since which time he has
In such cases the law in these Islands does not excuse one from liability for the natural appeared sad and worried not only because of the dishonor it brought upon his family but
consequences of hi illegal acts merely because he did not intend to produce such also because the child meant an added burden to Maria upon whom they all depended for
consequences, but it does take that fact into consideration as an extenuating circumstance, support. For some time the appellant wrote letters, that at times were hostile and
as did the trial judge in this case. threatening and at other times entreating the deceased to legitimize his union with Pilar by
marrying her, or at least, to support her and his child. Although the deceased agreed to give
What has been said sufficiently disposes of all errors assigned by counsel for appellant, the child a monthly allowance by way of support, he never complied with his promise.
except certain alleged errors of procedure in the court below which we do not think it
The appellant was in such a mood when he presented himself one day at the office where Wherefore, pursuant to the provisions of Act No. 4103, the appellant is hereby sentenced to
the deceased worked and asked leave of the manager thereof to speak to Osma. They both suffer the indeterminate penalty of from one (1) year of prision correccional to eight (8) years
went downstairs. What happened later, nobody witnessed. But the undisputed fact is that on and (1) day of prision mayor, affirming the judgment appealed from in all other respects,
that occasion the appellant inflicted a wound at the base of the neck of the deceased, with the costs. So ordered.
causing his death.

After excluding the improbable portions thereof, the court infers from the testimony of the
appellant that he proposed to said deceased to marry his daughter and that, upon hearing G.R. No. L-32066 March 15, 1903
that the latter refused to do so, he whipped out his penknife. Upon seeing the appellant's
attitude, the deceased tried to seize him by the neck whereupon the said appellant stabbed
him on the face with the said penknife. Due to his lack of control of the movement of his
arm, the weapon landed on the base of the neck of the deceased.
GONA (Mansaca), defendant and appellant.

The trial court found that the appellant did not intend to cause so grave an injury as the
death of the deceased. We find that his conclusion is supported by the evidence. In his
testimony the appellant emphatically affirmed that he only wanted to inflict a wound that
would leave a permanent scar on the face of the deceased, or one that would compel him to The defendant was charged before the Court of First Instance of the Province of Davao with
remain in the hospital for a week or two but never intended to kill him, because then it the crime of homicide, the information reading as follows:
would frustrate his plan of compelling him to marry or, at least, support his daughter. The
appellant had stated this intention in some of his letters to the deceased by way of a threat That on or about October 26, 1928, in the municipal district of Pantukan, Province
to induce him to accept his proposal for the benefit of his daughter. That the act of the of Davao, Philippine Islands, as within the jurisdiction of the court, the said accused
appellant in stabbing the deceased resulted in the fatal wound at the base of his neck, was voluntarily, illegally, and criminally and with a bolo which he then carried, assaulted
due solely to the fact hereinbefore mentioned that appellant did not have control of his right the Mansaca Mapudul, causing him a mortal wound on the left side of the neck
arm on account of paralysis and the blow, although intended for the face, landed at the base and that as a consequence of said wound, the said Mapudul died.
of the neck.
Upon trial the court below found the defendant guilty as charged in the information and
Therefore, the mitigating circumstance of lack of intention to cause so grave an injury as the taking into consideration the extenuating circumstance of non-habitual intoxication,
death of the deceased as well as those of his having voluntarily surrendered himself to the sentenced him to suffer twelve years and one of reclusion temporal with the accessory
authorities, and acted under the influence of passion and obfuscation, should be taken into penalties prosecuted by law to indemnity the heirs of the deceased in the sum of P1,000, and
consideration in favor of the appellant. to the costs. From this sentenced the defendant appealed.

Under the facts above stated, we cannot entertain the appellant's contention that he acted It appears from the evidence that on the evening of October 26, 1928, a number
in legitimate self-defense inasmuch as he provoked and commenced the aggression by of Mansacas celebrated a reunion in the house of the Mansaca Gabriel. There seems to have
whipping out and brandishing his penknife. been liberal supply of alcoholic drinks and some of the men present became intoxicated, with
the result that a quarrel took the place between the Mansaca Dunca and the defendant.
The defense likewise claims that, at all events, article 49 of the Revised Penal Code, which Dunca and his son Aguipo eventually left the house and were followed by Mapudul and one
refers to cases where the crime committed is different from that intended by the accused, Award. The defendant left the house about the same time with intention of assaulting Dunca,
should be applied herein. This article is a reproduction of article 64 of the old Code and has but in the darkness of the evening and in the intoxicated condition of the defendant, the
been interpreted as applicable only in cases where the crime befalls a different person mistook Mapudul for Dunca and inflicated on him a mortal wound with a bolo.
(decisions of the Supreme Court of Spain of October 20, 1897, and June 28,1899), which is
not the case herein. There can no doubt that the defendant killed Mapudul and that he is guilty of the crime
charged, but his attorney argues that in view of the fact that said defendant had no intention
The facts as herein proven constitute the crime of homicide defined and penalized in article to kill the deceased and committed the crime by mistake, he should have been found guilty
249 of the Revised Penal Code with reclusion temporal. In view of the concurrence therein of of homicide through negligence under paragraph 1 of article 568 of the Penal Code and not
three mitigating circumstances without any aggravating circumstance, the penalty next lower of the graver crime of intentional homicide.
in degree, that is prision mayor, should be imposed.
This contention is contrary to earlier decisions of this court. In these case of United
State vs. Mendieta(34 Phil., 242), the court said:

Even admitting that the defendant intended to injure Hilario Lauigan instead of
Pedro Acierto, even that, in view of the mortal wound which inflicted upon the
latter, in no way could be considered as a relief from his criminal act. That he made
a mistake in killing one man instead of another, when it is proved that he acted
maliciously and willfully, cannot relieve him from criminal responsibility. Neither do
we believe that the fact that he made a mistake in killing the wrong man should be
considered as a mitigating circumstances.

The appealed sentence is affirmed with the costs against the defendant. So ordered.
G.R. No. 213792 June 22, 2015 while he was revived through cardiopulmonary resuscitation, he lapsed into a coma after the
vs. Due to financial constraints, Aro was taken out of the hospital against the doctor's orders and
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent, eventually, died the next day. While Aro's death certificate indicated that the cause of his

DECISION death was "cardiopulmonary arrest antecedent to a perforated ileum and generalized
peritonitis secondary to mauling," an autopsy performed on his remains revealed that the
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.: cause of his death was "rupture of the aorta secondary to blunt traumatic injuries." 7

Assailed in these consolidated petitions for review on certiorari 1 are the Decision2 dated In their defense, herein petitioners, Wacoy and Quibac, denied the charge against them.
December 6, 2013 and the Resolution3 dated July 21, 2014 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA- They averred that while playing pool, they saw Aro drunk and lying down. Suddenly, Aro
G.R. CR No. 34078, which, inter alia, found petitioners Guillermo Wacoy y Bitol (Wacoy) and became unruly and kicked the leg of the pool table, causing Wacoy to shout and pick up a
James Quibac Rafael (Quibac) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Homicide. stone to throw at Aro but Quibac pacified him. They also claimed that Aro almost hit Wacoy
with a 2x3 piece of wood if not for Quibac' s intervention. Wacoy ran but Aro chased him and
then tripped and fell to the ground. Quiniquin Carias (Kinikin), Aro's companion, followed
The Facts
Wacoy to the waiting shed nearby, cornered and kicked the latter, and the two engaged in a
fist fight. Quibac came over to pacify the two and told Wacoy to go home.8
In an Information dated June 10, 2004, Wacoy and Quibac were charged with the crime of
Homicide, defined and penalized under Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), before
The RTC Ruling In a Judgment9 dated February 28, 2011, the RTC found Wacoy and Quibac
the Regional Trial Court of Benguet, Branch 10 (RTC), as follows:
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Death Caused in a Tumultuous Affray under
Article 251 of the RPC and, accordingly, sentenced them to suffer the penalty of
That on or about the 11th day of April 2004, at Ambongdolan, Municipality of Tublay, imprisonment for an indeterminate period of six (6) months and one (1) day of prision
Province of Benguet, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the correccional, as minimum, to eight (8) years and one (1) day of prision mayor , as maximum,
above-named accused, conspiring, confederating and mutually aiding each other, with intent and ordered them to pay Aro's heirs the amounts of 25,000.00 as temperate damages,
to kill, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault, maul and kick 50,000.00 as civil indemnity ex delicto, and 50,000.00 as moral damages.10
the stomach of one ELNER ARO y LARUAN, thereby inflicting upon him blunt traumatic
injuries which directly caused his death thereafter.
The RTC found that Benito's testimony on the mauling incident does not firmly establish that
Wacoy and Quibac conspired in the killing of Aro, and that the medical reports were neither
That the offense committed was attended by the aggravating circumstance of superior categorical in stating that the injuries Aro sustained from the mauling directly contributed to
strength. CONTRARY TO LAW.4 his death. 11

According to prosecution witness Edward Benito (Benito), at around 3 o'clock in the In this relation, it opined that "[a]s conspiracy was not proven and the prosecution has failed
afternoon of April 11, 2004, he was eating corn at a sari-sari store located at Bungis to show the extent and effect of injury [that Wacoy and Quibac] personally inflicted on [Aro]
Ambongdolan, Tublay, Benguet, when he heard a commotion at a nearby establishment. that led to his death xx x," Wacoy and Quibac should be held criminally liable for the crime of
Upon checking what the ruckus was all about, he saw his cousin, Elner Aro (Aro), already Death Caused in a Tumultuous Affray and not for Homicide.12
sprawled on the ground. While in that position, he saw Wacoy kick Aro's stomach twice, after
which, Wacoy picked up a rock to throw at Aro but was restrained from doing so. As Aro
Aggrieved, Wacoy and Quibac appealed to the CA.13
stood up, Quibac punched him on the stomach, causing him to collapse and cry in pain.
Thereafter, Aro was taken to the hospital.5
The CA Ruling
At the hospital, Aro was diagnosed to be suffering from "blunt abdominal trauma with injury
to the jejunum" and was set for operation. It was then discovered that he sustained a In a Decision14 dated December 6, 2013, the CA modified Wacoy and Quibac's conviction to
perforation on his ileum, i.e., the point where the small and large intestines meet, that that of Homicide under A1iicle 249 of the RPC with the mitigating circumstance of lack of
caused intestinal bleeding, and that his entire abdominal peritoneum was filled with air and intent to commit so grave a wrong, and accordingly adjusted their prison term to an
fluid contents from the bile. However, Aro suffered cardiac arrest during the operation, and indeterminate period of six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor, as minimum, to twelve
(12) years and one ( 1) day of reclusion temporal, as maximum. Further, the CA also imposed
a legal interest of six percent ( 6%) per annum on the damages awarded by the RTC pursuant deceased, but the person or persons who inflicted serious physical injuries can be identified,
to prevailing jurisprudence.15 such person or persons shall be punished by prision mayor.

In so ruling, the CA gave credence to Benito's simple, direct, and straightforward testimony. If it cannot be determined who inflicted the serious physical injuries on the deceased, the
In this relation, it observed that the mere fact that Benito is Aro's cousin should not militate penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods shall be imposed upon all
against his credibility since there was no proof that his testimony was driven by any ill those who shall have used violence upon the person of the victim.
motive.16 However, contrary to the RTC's findings, the CA ruled that Wacoy and Quibac
should not be convicted of the crime of Death Caused in a Tumultuous Affray since there The elements of Death Caused in a Tumultuous Affray are as follows: (a) that there be several
were only (2) persons who inflicted harm on the victim, and that there was no tumultuous persons; (b) that they did not compose groups organized for the common purpose of
affray involving several persons. Instead, they were convicted of the crime of Homicide, with assaulting and attacking each other reciprocally; (c) that these several persons quarrelled and
the mitigating circumstance of lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong appreciated as it assaulted one another in a confused and tumultuous manner; (d) that someone was killed in
was shown that the purpose of their assault on Aro was only to maltreat or inflict physical the course of the affray; (e) that it cannot be ascertained who actually killed the deceased;
harm on him.17 and (j) that the person or persons who inflicted serious physical injuries or who used violence
can be identified.22Based on case law, a tumultuous affray takes place when a quarrel occurs
Aggrieved, Wacoy and Quibac separately moved for reconsideration. 18 In a between several persons and they engage in a confused and tumultuous affray, in the course
Resolution19 dated July 21, 2014, the CA denied Quibac's motions for of which some person is killed or wounded and the author thereof cannot be ascertained.23
reconsideration;20 hence, the instant petitions.
On the other hand, the crime of Homicide is defined and penalized under Article 249 of the
The Issue Before the Court RPC, which reads:

The core issue for the Court's resolution is whether or not the CA correctly found Wacoy and Art. 249. Homicide. - Any person who, not falling within the provisions of Article 246, shall kill
Quibac guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Homicide. another, without the attendance of any of the circumstances enumerated in the next
preceding article, shall be deemed guilty of homicide and be punished by reclusion temporal.
The Court's Ruling The elements of Homicide are the following: (a) a person was killed; (b) the accused killed
him without any justifying circumstance; (c) the accused had the intention to kill, which is
presumed; and (d) the killing was not attended by any of the qualifying circumstances of
The petition is without merit.
Murder, or by that of Parricide or Infanticide.24

At the outset, it must be stressed that in criminal cases, an appeal throws the entire case
In the instant case, there was no tumultuous affray between groups of persons in the course
wide open for review and the reviewing tribunal can correct errors, though unassigned in the
of which Aro died.1wphi1 On the contrary, the evidence clearly established that there were
appealed judgment, or even reverse the trial court's decision based on grounds other than
only two (2) persons, Wacoy and Quibac, who picked on one defenseless individual, Aro, and
those that the parties raised as errors. The appeal confers upon the appellate court full
attacked him repeatedly, taking turns in inflicting punches and kicks on the poor victim.
jurisdiction over the case and renders such court competent to examine records, revise the
There was no confusion and tumultuous quarrel or affray, nor was there a reciprocal
judgment appealed from, increase the penalty, and cite the proper provision of the penal
aggression in that fateful incident.25 Since Wacoy and Quibac were even identified as the
ones who assaulted Aro, the latter's death cannot be said to have been caused in a
tumultuous affray.26 Therefore, the CA correctly held that Wacoy and Quibac' s act of
Proceeding from the foregoing, the Court agrees with the CA's ruling modifying Wacoy and mauling Aro was the proximate cause27 of the latter's death; and as such, they must be held
Quibac' s conviction from Death Caused in a Tumultuous Affray to that of Homicide, as will criminally liable therefore, specifically for the crime of Homicide.
be explained hereunder.
On this note, the Court does not find merit in Wacoy's contention that in view of their intent
Article 251 of the RPC defines and penalizes the crime of Death Caused in a Tumultuous only to inflict slight physical injuries on Aro, they should only be meted the corresponding
Affray as follows: penalty therefore in its maximum period,28pursuant to Article 49 of the RPC. The said
provision reads:
Art. 251. Death caused in a tumultuous affray. - When, while several persons, not composing
groups organized for the common purpose of assaulting and attacking each other Art. 49. Penalty to be imposed upon the principals when the crime committed is different
reciprocally, quarrel and assault each other in a confused and tumultuous manner, and in the from that intended. - In cases in which the felony committed is different from that which the
course of the affray someone is killed, and it cannot be ascertained who actually killed the offender intended to commit, the following rules shall be observed.
1. If the penalty prescribed for the felony committed be higher than that WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision dated December 6, 2013 and the
corresponding to the offense which the accused intended to commit, the penalty Resolution dated July 21, 2014 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 34078 are hereby
corresponding to the latter shall be imposed in its maximum period. AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. Accordingly, petitioners Guillermo Wacoy y Bitol and James
Quibac y Rafael are found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Homicide defined
2. If the penalty prescribed for the felony committed be lower than that and penalized under Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code with the mitigating circumstance
corresponding to the one which the accused intended to commit, the penalty for of lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong under Article 13 (3) of the same Code. They are
the former shall be imposed in its maximum period. sentenced to suffer the penalty of imprisonment for an indeterminate period of six ( 6) years
and one (1) day of prision mayor, as minimum, to twelve (12) years and one (1) day of
reclusion temporal, as maximum, and ordered to pay the heirs of Elner Aro the amounts of
3. The rule established by the next preceding paragraph shall not be applicable if
25,000.00 as temperate damages, 75,000.00 as civil indemnity ex delicto, and 75,000.00
the acts committed by the guilty person shall also constitute an attempt or
as moral damages, all with interest at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum from the finality
frustration of another crime, if the law prescribes a higher penalty for either of the
of this Decision until fully paid. SO ORDERED.
latter offenses, in which case the penalty provided for the attempt or the
frustrated crime shall be imposed in the maximum period.
G.R. No. L-16486 March 22, 1921
Jurisprudence instructs that such provision should only apply where the crime committed is
different from that intended and where the felony committed befalls a different person THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appelle,
(error in personae); and not to cases where more serious consequences not intended by the vs.
offender result from his felonious act (praeter intentionem),29 CALIXTO VALDEZ Y QUIRI, defendant-appellant.

as in this case. It is well-settled that if the victim dies because of a deliberate act of the STREET, J.:
malefactors, intent to kill is conclusively presumed.30 In such case, even if there is no intent
to kill, the crime is Homicide because with respect to crimes of personal violence, the penal The rather singular circumstances attending the commission of the offense of homicide
law looks particularly to the material results following the unlawful act and holds the which is under discussion in the present appeal are these:
aggressor responsible for all the consequences thereof.31
At about noon, on November 29, 1919, while the interisland steamer Vigan was anchored in
Be that as it may, the penalty for the crime of Homicide must be imposed in its minimum the Pasig River a short distance from the lighthouse and not far from where the river
period due to the presence of the mitigating circumstance of lack of intention to commit so debouches into the Manila Bay, a small boat was sent out to raise the anchor. The crew of
grave a wrong under Article 13 (3) of the RPC in favor of Wacoy and Quibac, as correctly this boat consisted of the accused, Calixto Valdez y Quiri, and six others among whom was
appreciated by the CA. In determining the presence of this circumstance, it must be the deceased, Venancio Gargantel. The accused was in charge of the men and stood at the
considered that since intention is a mental process and is an internal state of mind, the stern of the boat, acting as helmsman, while Venancio Gargantel was at the bow.
accused's intention must be judged by his conduct and external overt acts.32 In this case, the
aforesaid mitigating circumstance is available to Wacoy and Quibac, given the absence of The work raising the anchor seems to have proceeded too slowly to satisfy the accused, and
evidence showing that, apart from kicking and punching Aro on the stomach, something else he accordingly began to abuse the men with offensive epithets. Upon this Venancio
had been done; thus, evincing the purpose of merely maltreating or inflicting physical harm, Gargantel remonstrated, saying that it would be better, and they would work better, if he
and not to end the life of Aro. would not insult them. The accused took this remonstrance as a display of insubordination;
and rising in rage he moved towards Venancio, with a big knife in hand, threatening to stab
Anent the proper penalty to be imposed on Wacoy and Quibac, the CA correctly imposed the him. At the instant when the accused had attained to within a few feet of Venancio, the
penalty of imprisonment for an indeterminate period of six ( 6) years and one ( 1) day of latter, evidently believing himself in great and immediate peril, threw himself into the water
prision mayor, as minimum, to twelve (12) years and one (1) day of reclusion temporal, as and disappeared beneath its surface to be seen no more.
maximum, taking into consideration the provisions of the Indeterminate Sentence Law.
The boat in which this incident took place was at the time possibly 30 or 40 yards from shore
Finally, the awards of civil indemnity and moral damages in the original amount of and was distant, say, 10 paces from the Vigan. Two scows were moored to the shore, but
50,000.00 each are increased to 75,000.00 each in order to conform with prevailing between these and the boat intervened a space which may be estimated at 18 or 20 yards.
jurisprudence.33 All other awards, as well as the imposition of interest at the rate of six At it was full midday, and there was nothing to obstruct the view of persons upon the scene,
percent ( 6%) per annum on all the monetary awards from the date of finality of judgment the failure of Venancio Gargantel to rise to the surface conclusively shows that, owing to his
until the same are fully paid, are retained. possible inability to swim or the strength of the current, he was borne down into the water
and was drowned.
Two witnesses who were on the boat state that, immediately after Venancio leaped into the homicide. The Supreme Court, disallowing the appeal, enunciated the following doctrine:
water, the accused told the remaining members of the crew to keep quiet or he would kill "That even though the death of the injured person should not be considered as the exclusive
them. For this reason they made no movement looking to rescue; but inasmuch as there and necessary effect of the very grave wound which almost completely severed his axillary
witnesses are sure that Venancio did not again come to the surface, efforts at rescue would artery, occasioning a hemorrhage impossible to stanch under the circumstances in which that
have been fruitless. The fact that the accused at his juncture threatened the crew with person was placed, nevertheless as the persistence of the aggression of the accused
violence is, therefore, of no moment except tho show the temporary excitement under compelled his adversary, in order to escape the attack, to leap into the river, an act which the
which he was laboring. accused forcibly compelled the injured person to do after having inflicted, among others, a
mortal wound upon him and as the aggressor by said attack manifested a determined
On the next day one of the friends of Venancio Gargantel posted himself near the lighthouse resolution to cause the death of the deceased, by depriving him of all possible help and
to watch for the body, in the hope that it might come to the surface and could thus be putting him in the very serious situation narrated in the decision appealed from, the trial
recovered. Though his friendly vigil lasted three days nothing came of it. court, in qualifying the act prosecuted as consummated homicide, did not commit any error
of law, as the death of the injured person was due to the act of the accused." (II Hidalgo,
Codigo Penal, p. 183.)
It may be added that Venancio has not returned to his lodging in Manila, where he lived as a
bachelor in the house of an acquaintance; and his personal belongings have been delivered
to a representative of his mother who lives in the Province of Iloilo. His friends and relatives, The accused must, therefore, be considered the responsible author of the death of Venancio
it is needless to say, take it for granted that he is dead. Gargantel, and he was properly convicted of the offense of homicide. The trial judge
appreciated as an attenuating circumstance the fact that the offender had no intention to
commit so great a wrong as that committed. (Par. 3, art. 9 Penal Code.) In accordance with
The circumstances narrated above are such in our opinion as to exclude all reasonable
this finding the judge sentenced the accused to undergo imprisonment for twelve years and
possibility that Venancio Gargantel may have survived; and we think that the trial judge did
one day, reclusion temporal, to suffer the corresponding accessories, to indemnify the family
not err in holding that he is dead and that he came to his death by drowning under the
of the deceased in the sum of P500, and to pay the costs. Said sentenced is in accordance
circumstances stated. The proof is direct that he never rose to the surface after jumping into
with law; and it being understood that the accessories appropriate to the case are those
the river, so far as the observers could see; and this circumstance, coupled with the known
specified in article 59 of the Penal Code, the same is affirmed, with costs against the
fact that human life must inevitably be extinguished by asphyxiation under water, is
appellant. So ordered.
conclusive of his death. The possibility that he might have swum ashore, after rising in a spot
hidden from the view of his companions, we consider too remote to be entertained for a

As to the criminal responsibility of the accused for the death thus occasioned the likewise can
be no doubt; for it is obvious that the deceased, in throwing himself in the river, acted solely
in obedience to the instinct of self-preservation and was in no sense legally responsible for
his own death. As to him it was but the exercise of a choice between two evils, and any
reasonable person under the same circumstances might have done the same. As was once
said by a British court, "If a man creates in another man's mind an immediate sense of
dander which causes such person to try to escape, and in so doing he injuries himself, the
person who creates such a state of mind is responsible for the injuries which result." (Reg. vs.
Halliday, 61 L. T. Rep. [N.S.], 701.

In this connection a pertinent decision from the Supreme Court of Spain, of July 13, 1882, is
cited in the brief of The Attorney-General, as follows: It appeared that upon a certain
occasion an individual, after having inflicted sundry injuries upon another with a cutting
weapon, pointed a shotgun at the injured person and to escape the discharge the latter had
to jump into a river where he perished by drowning. The medical authorities charged with
conducting the autopsy found that only one of the wounds caused by a cut could have
resulted in the death of the injured person, supposing that he had received no succour, and
that by throwing himself in the river he in fact died of asphyxia from submersion. Having
been convicted as the author of the homicide, the accused alleged upon appeal that he was
only guilty of the offense of inflicting serious physical injuries, or at most of frustrated
G.R. No. L-37507 June 7, 1977 Page admitted that he had been charged with theft but the case was dismissed in the
municipal court. He knew certain hoodlums named Remy, Manoling, Cuerson and Edgar
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff- appellee, whose specialty was holding up taxicabs (Exh. C).
WILLIAM PAGE, defendant- appellant. Scot gave a slightly different version of the holdup. He testified that when the jeepney
reached that portion of Harrison Boulevard in front of the San Antonio Savings Bank, Page
AQUINO, J.: pressed a knife at the neck of Scot and shouted: "This is a holdup. Don't move." Page got
Scot's diary book containing a one peso bill. Page ordered the driver, Eduardo Dilla, to shut
off the lights of the jeepney, to turn left on Russel Avenue, and to proceed to Roxas
William Page appealed from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Rizal dated July 21,
Boulevard. Page and Camposano covered their faces with pieces of cloth.
1973, convicting him of robbery with homicide, sentencing him to reclusion perpetua, and
ordering him to pay the heirs of Veronica Villaverde-Balacapo an indemnity of P12,000 plus
P20,000 as moral damages (Criminal Case No. 5396). The judgment of conviction was based Camposano told the women passengers to bring out their money and not to shout "or else
on the following facts: there will be shots". They replied that they had already given everything to Camposano.

According to Page's confession (Exh. C), at around four o'clock in the afternoon of February When the jeepney was in front of Casa Marcos and El Presidente Hotel, one of the women
13, 1972 Crisanto Camposano, alias Boy Sangkay, a resident of Bagong Ilog, Baclaran, jumped out of the jeepney. (The husband of one of the women was a waiter at Casa Marcos).
Paraaque , Rizal, went to the house of William Page y Ubina located at 143 Pildira Street, The other woman shouted. Camposano kicked her, thus causing her to fall out of the
near the Manila International Airport, Pasay City, They were friends since boyhood. Page was jeepney. Camposano noticed that a car was following the jeepney. Believing that it was a
an eighteen-year old third year high school student at the Arellano' University in Pasay City police car, he ordered Villa (Dilla) to drive at full speed.
(Exh. H).
According to Scot, at an isolated place called Baltao Street near the airport, Page and
From Page's house, the two went to Camposano's house, where they met the latter's father Camposano told the driver to stop. Page robbed Scot of his other one peso bill and divested
who was drinking with a companion. Camposano's father gave Page some liquor to drink. the driver of his earnings after boxing him for making some resistance. Then, the two
Page and Camposano stayed at the latter's house up to ten o'clock in the evening (Exh. C). malefactors fled to a dark alley. Scot and the driver reported the holdup to the police of
Paraaque . It was already eleven o'clock.
At past ten o'clock, Page and Camposano went to the rotonda or intersection of Taft Avenue
and F. B. Harrison Boulevard, where they boarded a Manila-bound jeepney. Page was armed Lieutenant Casiano Eugenio the precinct commander, showed them a photograph of
with a balisong knife. Camposano had a revolver. Camposano. Dilla and Scot Identified him as one of the two hoodlums. Eugenio and the two
robbery victims repaired to the residence of Camposano at Bagong Ilog Baclaran. They saw
Camposano, whom Dilla fingered, but Camposano fired shots at them and was able to elude
According to Page's confession, he seated himself beside a male passenger who was near the
pursuit due to the darkness of the night. He was killed by the Pasay City policemen while he
driver on the front seat. Camposano took a seat at the back of the jeepney where two female
was committing another crime.
passengers were seated. (The male passenger turned out to be Randolf Scot, a thirty-year old
employee of the Hyatt Regency Hotel who was on his way to work. The female passengers
were the sisters, Veronica Villaverde-Balacapo and Cesarean Villaverde). The next day policemen went to Page's residence near the airport to apprehend him. He was
not there. His father, in the presence of his aunt, promised to surrender him.
With the jeepney was in front of the San Antonio Savings Bank on Harrison Boulevard, Page
and Camposano told the driver to turn left on Russel Avenue, going to M. Roxas Boulevard, Page was arrested in the morning of February 24, 1972 at the Jose Abad Santos High School
and then to turn left going to Paraaque . There, they held up the driver and the three of the Arellano University in Pasay City. In the afternoon of that day, his statement was taken
passengers. They got the money and pieces of jewelry of the passengers and the driver. From down by Patrolman C. Prepena and sworn to before the municipal judge (Exh. C).
the rear view mirror of the jeepney, Page saw Camposano dumping the two female
passengers on Roxas Boulevard in front of Casa Marcos. Then, the two directed the driver to The woman, who jumped from the jeepney (according to Scot's story), was Veronica
proceed to the airport. They left the jeepney at Pildira Street (where Page resided). Balacapo. She was brought to the Philippine General Hospital by a good Samaritan, Manolo
Camposano gave Page a watch and a woman's ring as his share of the loot. Daval, Santos. She was already dead when she reached the hospital.
The other woman, Cesarea Villaverde (the sister of Veronica), who was pushed by Certain details found in the confession are strong indicia of its authenticity. Page specified
Camposano out of the jeepney, was brought to the Ospital ng Maynila. The record is not therein that his residence was at 143 Pildira Street, an address which jibes with the address
clear as to whether she survived. in his school record (Exh. I); that his maternal surname is Ubina; that he met Camposano at
four o'clock in the afternoon of February 13, 1972; that they went to Camposano's residence,
The postmortem examination of the body of Veronica Balacapo, a forty-two year old married where he (Page) was given liquor by Camposano's father; that he directed the driver to
woman, revealed that she suffered (1) abrasions on the left eyebrow, left shoulder, left follow a certain route; that Camposano was from Sorsogon; that Page was acquainted with
elbow and sacral region; (2) bilateral severe hematoma on the occipital region of the scalp; some hoodlums, and that he (Page) was charged with theft. These details would not have
(3) fractures on the base of the cranial fossa and the fourth and fifth ribs along the been embodied in the confession had not Page freely disclosed them to the police.
midclavicular line, and (4) hemorrhage in the posterior cranial fossa. Death was caused by
the severe and traumatic meningeal hemorrhage (Exh. A and F). 2. It is true that Scot during the trial did not point to Page as the person who sat beside him
on the front seat of the jeepney and who pressed an open knife at his neck. Testifying nine
On February 15, 1972 or before Page was arrested, the chief of police filed a complaint for months after the occurrence, Scot could not remember the face of Page. He recalled only
robbery with murder in the municipal court of Paraaque against Camposano and John Doe that Page's hair was thick.
(Criminal Case No. 30039). The complaint was based on the investigation of Dilla and Scot.
Page did not present any evidence at the preliminary investigation. The case was remanded Patrolman Ruben Crue Santiago, one of those who investigated Page, testified that the latter
to the Court of First Instance where the fiscal filed an information for robbery with homicide was sporting long hair and looked like a hippie at the time of the investigation (2 tsn
against Page and Camposano. November 21, 1972). The photographs of Page taken in July, 1971, or about seven months
before the holdup, when Page was booked for theft, show that he had long hair (Exh. G).
After trial, the trial court rendered the judgment of conviction already mentioned.
Scot's failure to identify Page during the trial is of no moment because the crucial fact is that
In this appeal, appellant Page contends that the trial court erred (1) in relying on his Page in his own confession admitted his participation in the holdup. Page stated in his
repudiated confession, (2) in convicting him although he was not Identified by Randolf Scot, confession:
the prosecution's eyewitness, and (3) in convicting him on the basis of weak circumstantial
evidence. Iyong jeep na pampasahero na aming sinakyan sa may Rotonda ng
Baclaran patungong Maynila, biaheng Harrison, ay may sakay na
1. Patrolman Prepena who took Page's confession, testified on its voluntariness. Lieutenant dalawang babae sa hulihan at isang lalaki sa unahan sa tabi ng driver at
Eugenia the precinct commander, and Patrolmen Manolito Miranda and Jose Elquiero, the ako ay naupo sa harapan katabi ko iyong lalaki at si Boy Sangkay
arresting officer, denied that Page was maltreated while he was in the custody of the police. (Camposano) ay sa gawing hulihan.

Page admitted that when he was brought before the municipal judge for the administration Pagdating namin sa may tapat ng San Antonio Bank ay hinoldup namin
of the oath on his confession, he could have complained to the latter about the alleged iyong jeep pati ng mga pasahero at pinaliko namin sa Russel Avenue
maltreatment. He did not complain. patungong M. Roxas Blvd. Pagdating namin sa M. Roxas Blvd., ay
pinakaliwa namin patungong Paraaque at noong kami'y nasa M. Roxas
Blvd. na, ay kinuha namin ang mga pera at alahas noong mga pasahero at
His aunt, Prudencia Alupit, and his own lawyer visited him in jail. He allegedly confided to
tsuper ng jeep at matapos noon any nakita ko na lang sa salamin na
them that he was maltreated. He requested them to take action against the policemen. They
inihulog ni Boy Sangkay iyong dalawang babae sa may tapat ng Casa
did not complain to the proper authorities about the alleged maltreatment.
Marcos sa M. Roxas Blvd.

The learned trial court made a searching and conscientious analysis of appellant's evidence
At pagkatapos ay nagpahatid kami patungong MIA at bumaba kami sa
on the alleged duress employed by the police in extracting his confession. It concluded that
Pildira sa Pasay City. (No. 13, Exh. C).
the confession was voluntary.

Scot's testimony and the necropsy report (Exh. A) prove the corpus delicti or the fact that
We find no error in that conclusion. Page's confession, having been taken before the new
robbery with homicide was committed. Page's extrajudicial confession was corroborated by
Constitution took effect, is admissible although the requisites in section 20 of article IV were
the evidence on the corpus delicti (Sec. 3, Rule 133, Rules of Court).
not observed (Magtoto vs. Manguera, L-37201-2, March 3, 1975, 63 SCRA 4).
3. Appellant's third contention that his guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt, man who creates such a state of mind is responsible for the resulting injuries (People vs.
because the prosecution's evidence is mainly circumstantial, is not meritorious. Toling, L-27097, January 17, 1975, 62 SCRA 17,33).

Once it is conceded that his confession is voluntary then there cannot be any doubt as to his We find that the trial court's conclusion as to conspiracy is borne out by the evidence. Page
guilt. We have already shown that his confession was not vitiated by compulsion or and Camposano were boyhood friends. About six hours before the crime was committed,
constraint. they were already together. They were in the Baclaran rotonda at around ten o'clock in the
evening or shortly before the holdup was committed. They boarded the jeepney in that
The alibi, which Page interposed during the trial and which his counsel did not bother to place. Inside the jeepney, they coordinated their actions. They directed the jeepney driver to
discuss in his brief, appears to be a complete fabrication. Page testified that at the time of go near the airport or in the vicinity of Page's residence, a place which was well-known to the
the commission of the holdup, he was residing with his aunt at 26 Simbo Street, Fort two malefactors. They left the jeepney together and fled in the same direction.
Bonifacio, Makati, Rizal and that he was sick.
There is not a scintilla of doubt that a conspiracy to commit robbery existed between Page
That testimony was squarely belied by Page's school record (Exh. 1) which shows that, when and Camposano. The fact that the two armed themselves with deadly weapons, a knife and a
the holdup was perpetrated, he was residing with his father at 143 Pildira Street, Pasay City revolver, signified that they were determined to kill their victims in order to consummate
near the airport (or at 101 Interior Rivera Village near the airport, Exh. H) and that on their nefarious objective.
February 11, 1972, or two days before the holdup was committed, he was not sick because
on that date he was not absent from school. The conspiracy may be inferred from the acts of Page and Camposano. Those acts reveal that
they had agreed to commit robbery inside a passenger jeepney (Art. 8, Revised Penal Code).
In any event, even if he was a Makati resident at the time of the holdup, that would not have This Court may take judicial notice that that kind of robbery has been frequently committed
precluded his participation in the commission of that offense at Baclaran, Paraaque , which since the liberation when the jeepney came into existence as a public conveyance.
is not very far from Fort Bonifacio.
Page and Camposano implemented their agreement when they waited for a passenger
To establish an alibi, the accused must show that he was in another place for such a period of jeepney at the Baclaran rotonda and boarded it at the same time. If they had no evil
time that it was impossible for him to have been at the place where the crime was intention, they could have sat together at the back. But, they did not do so. Obviously, as
committed at the time of its commission (People vs. Resayaga, L-23234, December 26, 1973, previously planned by them, Page took the front seat so that he could control the driver and
54 SCRA 350, 354). Page's alibi does not satisfy that requirement. at the same time extort money from him and the other passenger in the front seat.
Camposano took a seat at the back of the jeepney so that he could rob the two female
The more important point to consider is whether the trial court correctly ruled that Page, as
a fellow conspirator of Camposano, could be held liable for robbery with homicide or for
robbery only. In his letters to this Court, Page, not being a lawyer and not knowing the rules The behavior of Page and Camposano inside the jeepney disclosed a synchronization of their
on conspiracy, insisted that he had nothing to do with the death of Veronica Villaverde actions, evincing a prior concert and plan to commit robbery with violence against and
Balacapo. intimidation of persons. Page should answer for all the consequences of the conspiracy,
including the homicide which was intertwined with the robbery committed by his
conspirator. The homicide was committed on the occasion or by reason of the robbery.
Of course, it was Camposano alone who directly brought about Veronica's death. Whether
Veronica jumped from the jeepney, as testified by Scot, or whether Camposano kicked and
pushed her and her sister, Cesarean out of the jeepney, as stated by Page in his confession, The rule is that where the conspirarcy to commit robbery was conclusively shown by the
Camposano's culpability for that flagitious deed cannot be disputed. concurrent and coordinate acts of the accused, and homicide was committed as
consequence, or on the occasion, of the robbery, all of the accused are guilty of robo con
homicidio whether or not they actually participated in the killing (People vs. Lingad, 98 Phil.
If Veronica jumped out of the jeepney, it must have been because she was in mortal dread
5; People vs. Puno, L-31594, April 29, 1974, 56 SCRA 659, 663).
that Camposano would shoot her. As fear gripped Veronica, she, in desperation, thought of
scampering out of the moving jeepney. Her head struck the pavement. It was broken. A
hemorrhage ensued. She died before medical assistance could be extended to her. Generally, when robo con homicidio has been proven. all those who had taken part int the
robbery are guilty of the special complex crime unless it appears that they endoevored to
prevent the homicide (U.S. vs. Macalalad, 9 Phil. 1). tha same rule is followed is Spanish
The rule is that if a man creates in another person's mind an immediate sense of danger,
which causes such person to try to escape, and, in so doing, the latter injures himself, the
Son resonsables de este delito (robo con homicidio) en concepto de anything to do with it. That is why I am very sad, sir. I am being charged for a crime which I
autor no solo todos los que cooperen a la muerte, siquiera sea con have not done. I have been in jail. I have nothing to do with it" (19 tsn December 19, 1972).
supresencia, sino tabien todos los que intevienen en la ejecucion del robo
aun cuando no temon parte en el homicidio: (2 Cuello Calon, Derecho Of course, he did not kill the victim. But, under the rules of conspiracy, he is deemed to be a
Penal, 1975 Edition, p. 976). co-principal in the robbery with homicide.

Cuestion II. Comedio un robo con violencia e intimidacion e las personas He testified that he was single, However, Rosita Lareza, claiming to be his wife, and Teresita
por dos sujetos, uno de los cuales dispara un trbuco, dejando muerto en Cordero, posing as his girl friend, filed written requests for the early disposition of his case
el acto a un tercero que acude en auxilo de llos rabalos, el que no disparo (pp. 125 and 140, Rollo).
sera solo responsable del robo, o al igual que su consorte, incurrira en la
pena del robo con homicido, previsto en el numero 10 del art. 516 que
We have already mentioned that he was charged with theft in the municipal court but the
case was dismissed. At the time the instant case was filed in 1972, he was charged also in the
municipal court with simple robbery and two cases of robbery with murder (Criminal Cases
El Tribunal Supremo ha declarado que siendo ambos procesados autores Nos. 30000, 30001 and 30038) (p. 12, Expediente of Criminal Case No. 5396). He was also
del robo, lo son igualmentedel homicido que ocurrio en el ultimo delito charged in Criminal Cases Nos. 5395 and 9765 of the Court of First Instance of Rizal. (See I. S.
esta de tal manera enlazado con el de robo, que a no prestarselo el No. 73-5054 for robbery filed in the fiscal's office at Pasig, Rizal, pp. 63, 70 and 78 of Rollo).
tercero hubiese sido muerto como lo fue; y que por ambos procesados, What happened to those cases is not shown in the record.
son autores uno y otro, segun el art. 13 del Codigo penal, y por lo lmismo
responsables los dos de todas las consequencias de su accion." (Sentencia
His behavior in prison has not been exemplary. On October 7, 1975 Page and five other
de 30 de Abril de 1872; 3 Viada, Codigo Penal 347).
prisoners comandered the truck, which was delivering foodstuffs at the prison compound,
held as hostages the driver and the kitchen supervisor, and tried to escape. Page and four
El propio Tribunal Supremo ha resulto; 'que si resulta probado la others were recaptured (p. 119, Rollo).
delincuencia del procesado en el hecho generador, que es el robo, con
ocasion del que se cometio un homijcidio, basta esto, en conformidad a
Page in his letter to the Chief Justice dated April 14, 1977 manifested that, inasmuch as he
lo dispuesto en, el num. 1. del art. 516, para conderearle tambien
could not endure the discomforts of prolonged confinement, he was amenable to be
responsable de homicidio; resolucion cuya justicia evidencia aun mas al
electrocuted (he was only sentenced to reclusion perpetua by the trial court).
parrafo segundo del art. 518, en el que se declara que los malchechores
presentes a la ejecucion de un robo en despoblado y en cuadrilla
so autores de cualquera de los atentados que esta cometa. si on constare This is a case where considerations of leniency are out of place. The full force of retributive
que procuraron impedirios. (Sentencia de 23 de Febrero de 1872; 3 justice should be brought to bear upon the accused. Many persons have been victimized in
Viada, Codigo Penal, Cuarta Edicion, p. 347). extortions or holdups committed in buses, taxicabs and jeepneys. The court should
cooperate with the agents of the law in making these public conveyances a safe means of
It may be added that the presence of Page in the front seat, armed with a balisong, must
have emboldened Camposano to threaten Veronica Balacapo and to cause her death with
impunity. WHEREFORE, the lower court's judgment is affirmed with slight modification that appellant
should further pay-the heirs of the victim the sum of P95 representing the value of the
watch, earrings and necklace taken from her. Costs against the defendant-appellant.
The lower court failed to order the accused to pay the sum of P95 as the value of the things
taken by Camposano from the deceased victim.
The case of Page, a former high school student, now twenty four years old, the child of
estranged parents (he lived with his father), who, at the age of eighteen years, was
implicated in robbery with homicide, undoubtedly by reason of poverty, should ordinarily
excite some sympathy and might evoke compassionate justice.

Pressed by his lawyer to examine his conscience and to state truthfully whether he was
implicated in the holdup, Page cried and said: "Before the eyes of God, I really do not have
G.R. No. L-1896 February 16, 1950 From that sentence he appealed to this court, contending (1) that the facts and (2) that the
trial court lacked jurisdiction to convict him on a plea of guilty because, being illiterate, he
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, was not assisted by counsel.
RAFAEL BALMORES Y CAYA, defendant-appellant. In support of the first contention, counsel for the appellant argues that there could be so
could be no genuine 1/8 unit Philippine Charity Sweepstakes ticket for the June 29, 1947,
OZAETA, J.: draw; that this court has judicial notice that the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office issued
only four 1/4 units for each ticket for the said draw of June 29, 1947; that the information
does not show that the true and real unidentified number of the ticket alleged to have been
Appellant, waiving the right to be assisted by counsel, pleaded guilty to the following
torn was not and could not be 074000; that the substitution and writing in ink of the said
information filed against him in the Court of First Instance of Manila:
number 074000 was not falsification where the true and real number of the ticket so torn
was 074000.
The undersigned accuses Rafael Balmores y Caya of attempted estafa through
falsification of a security, committed as follows:
This contention is based on assumption not borne out by the record. The ticket alleged to
have been falsified is before us and it appears to be a 1/8 unit. We cannot take judicial notice
That on or about the 22nd day of September, 1947, in the City of Manila, of what is not of common knowledge. If relevant, should have been proved. But if it is true
Philippines, the said accused did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously that the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office did not issue 1/8 but only 1/4 units of tickets
commence the commission of the crime of estafa through falsification of a security for the June 29, 1947, draw, that would only strengthen the theory of the prosecution that
directly by overt acts, to wit; by then and there tearing off at the bottom in a cross- the 1/8 unit of a ticket which appellant presented to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes
wise direction a portion of a genuine 1/8 unit Philippine Charity Sweepstakes ticket Office was spurious. The assumption that the true and real unidentified number of the ticket
thereby removing the true and real unidentified number of same and substituting alleged to have been torn was the winning number 074000, is likewise not supported by the
and writing in ink at the bottom on the left side of said ticket the figure or number record. The information to which appellant pleaded guilty alleged that the appellant
074000 thus making the said ticket bear the said number 074000, which is a prize- removed the true and real unidentified number of the ticket and substituted and wrote in ink
winning number in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes draw last June 29, 1947, and at the bottom on the left side of said ticket the figure or number 074000. It is obvious that
presenting the said ticket so falsified on said date, September 22, 1947, in the there would have been no need of removal and substitution if the original number on the
Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office for the purpose of exchanging the same for ticket was the same as that which appellant wrote in ink in lieu thereof.
the corresponding cash that said number has won, fraudulently pretending in said
office that the said 1/8 unit of a Philippine Charity Sweepstakes ticket is genuine
The second contention appears to be based on a correct premises but wrong conclusion. The
and that he is entitled to the corresponding amount of P359.55 so won by said
fact that appellant was illiterate did not deprive the trial court of jurisdiction assisted by
ticket in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes draw on said date, June 29, 1947, but
counsel. The decision expressly states that appellant waived the right to be assisted by
the said accused failed to perform all the acts of execution which would have
counsel, and we know of no law against such waiver.
produce the crime of estafa through falsification of a security as a consequence by
reason of some causes other than this spontaneous desistance, to wit: one Bayani
Miller, an employee to whom the said accused presented said ticket in the It may be that appellant was either reckless or foolish in believing that a falsification as
Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office discovered that the said ticket as presented patent as that which he admitted to have perpetrated would succeed; but the recklessness
by the said accused was falsified and immediately thereafter he called for a and clumsiness of the falsification did not make the crime impossible within the purview of
policeman who apprehended and arrested the said accused right then and there. paragraph 2, article 4, in relation to article 59, of the Revised Penal Code. Examples of an
Contrary to law. impossible crime, which formerly was not punishable but is now under article 59 of the
Revised Penal Code, are the following: (1) When one tries to kill another by putting in his
soup a substance which he believes to be arsenic when in fact it is common salt; and (2)
when one tries to murder a corpse. (Guevara, Commentaries on the Revised Penal Code, 4th
ed., page 15; decision, Supreme Court of Spain, November 26, 1879; 12 Jur. Crim., 343.)
Assistant City Fiscal Judging from the appearance of the falsified ticket in question, we are not prepared to say
that it would have been impossible for the appellant to consummate the crime of estafa thru
falsification of said ticket if the clerk to whom it was presented for the payment had not
and was sentenced by Judge Emilio Pena to suffer not less than 10 years and 1 day of prision exercised due care.
mayor and not more than 12 years and 1 day of reclusion temporal, and to pay a fine of P100
and the costs.
The penalty imposed by article 166 for the forging or falsification of "treasury or bank notes
or certificates or other obligations and securities" is reclusion temporal in its minimum period
and a fine not to exceed P10,000, if the document which has been falsified, counterfeited, or
altered is an obligation or security of the United States or of the Philippine Islands. This being
a complex crime of attempted estafa through falsification of an obligation or security of the
Philippines, the penalty should be imposed in its maximum period in accordance with article
48. Taking into consideration the mitigating circumstance of lack of instruction, and applying
the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the minimum cannot be lower than prision mayor in its
maximum period, which is 10 years and 1 day to 12 years. It results, therefore, that the
penalty imposed by the trial court is correct.

The alteration, or even destruction, of a losing sweepstakes ticket could cause no harm to
anyone and would not constitute a crime were it not for the attempt to cash the ticket so
altered as a prize-winning number. So in the ultimate analysis appellant's real offense was
the attempt to commit estafa (punishable with eleven days of arresto menor); but technically
and legally he has to suffer for the serious crime of falsification of a government obligation.
We realize that the penalty is too severe, considering all the circumstances of the case, but
we have no discretion to impose a lower penalty than authorized by law. The exercise of
clemency and not in this court.

We are constrained to affirm the sentence appealed from, with costs against the appellant.
G.R. No. 103119 October 21, 1992 accomplishment or on account of the employment of inadequate or
ineffectual means.
SULPICIO INTOD, petitioner,
vs. Petitioner contends that, Palangpangan's absence from her room on the night he
HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. and his companions riddled it with bullets made the crime inherently impossible.

CAMPOS, JR., J.: On the other hand, Respondent People of the Philippines argues that the crime was not
impossible. Instead, the facts were sufficient to constitute an attempt and to convict Intod
Petitioner, Sulpicio Intod, filed this petition for review of the decision of the Court of for attempted murder. Respondent alleged that there was intent. Further, in its Comment to
Appeals 1 affirming in toto the judgment of the Regional Trial Court, Branch XIV, Oroquieta the Petition, respondent pointed out that:
City, finding him guilty of the crime of attempted murder.
. . . The crime of murder was not consummated, not because of the
From the records, we gathered the following facts. inherent impossibility of its accomplishment (Art. 4(2), Revised Penal
Code), but due to a cause or accident other than petitioner's and his
accused's own spontaneous desistance (Art. 3., Ibid.) Palangpangan did
In the morning of February 4, 1979, Sulpicio Intod, Jorge Pangasian, Santos Tubio and Avelino
not sleep at her house at that time. Had it not been for this fact, the
Daligdig went to Salvador Mandaya's house in Katugasan, Lopez Jaena, Misamis Occidental
crime is possible, not impossible. 3
and asked him to go with them to the house of Bernardina Palangpangan. Thereafter,
Mandaya and Intod, Pangasian, Tubio and Daligdig had a meeting with Aniceto Dumalagan.
He told Mandaya that he wanted Palangpangan to be killed because of a land dispute Article 4, paragraph 2 is an innovation 4 of the Revised Penal Code. This seeks to remedy the
between them and that Mandaya should accompany the four (4) men, otherwise, he would void in the Old Penal Code where:
also be killed.
. . . it was necessary that the execution of the act has been commenced,
At about 10:00 o'clock in the evening of the same day, Petitioner, Mandaya, Pangasian, Tubio that the person conceiving the idea should have set about doing the
and Daligdig, all armed with firearms, arrived at Palangpangan's house in Katugasan, Lopez deed, employing appropriate means in order that his intent might
Jaena, Misamis Occidental. At the instance of his companions, Mandaya pointed the location become a reality, and finally, that the result or end contemplated shall
of Palangpangan's bedroom. Thereafter, Petitioner, Pangasian, Tubio and Daligdig fired at have been physically possible. So long as these conditions were not
said room. It turned out, however, that Palangpangan was in another City and her home was present, the law and the courts did not hold him criminally liable. 5
then occupied by her son-in-law and his family. No one was in the room when the accused
fired the shots. No one was hit by the gun fire. This legal doctrine left social interests entirely unprotected. 6 The Revised Penal Code,
inspired by the Positivist School, recognizes in the offender his formidability, 7 and now
Petitioner and his companions were positively identified by witnesses. One witness testified penalizes an act which were it not aimed at something quite impossible or carried out with
that before the five men left the premises, they shouted: "We will kill you (the witness) and means which prove inadequate, would constitute a felony against person or against
especially Bernardina Palangpangan and we will come back if (sic) you were not injured". 2 property. 8 The rationale of Article 4(2) is to punish such criminal tendencies. 9

After trial, the Regional Trial Court convicted Intod of attempted murder. The court (RTC), as Under this article, the act performed by the offender cannot produce an offense against
affirmed by the Court of Appeals, holding that Petitioner was guilty of attempted murder. person or property because: (1) the commission of the offense is inherently impossible of
Petitioner seeks from this Court a modification of the judgment by holding him liable only for accomplishment: or (2) the means employed is either (a) inadequate or (b) ineffectual. 10
an impossible crime, citing Article 4(2) of the Revised Penal Code which provides:
That the offense cannot be produced because the commission of the offense is inherently
Art. 4(2). CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY. Criminal Responsibility shall be impossible of accomplishment is the focus of this petition. To be impossible under this
incurred: clause, the act intended by the offender must be by its nature one impossible of
accomplishment. 11 There must be either impossibility of accomplishing the intended
act 12 in order to qualify the act an impossible crime.
xxx xxx xxx

Legal impossibility occurs where the intended acts, even if completed, would not amount to
2. By any person performing an act which would be an offense against
a crime. 13 Thus:
persons or property, were it not for the inherent impossibility of its
Legal impossibility would apply to those circumstances where (1) the In the case of Clark vs. State, 20 the court held defendant liable for attempted robbery even
motive, desire and expectation is to perform an act in violation of the if there was nothing to rob. In disposing of the case, the court quoted Mr. Justice Bishop, to
law; (2) there is intention to perform the physical act; (3) there is a wit:
performance of the intended physical act; and (4) the consequence
resulting from the intended act does not amount to a crime. 14 It being an accepted truth that defendant deserves punishment by reason
of his criminal intent, no one can seriously doubt that the protection of
The impossibility of killing a person already dead 15 falls in this category. the public requires the punishment to be administered, equally whether
in the unseen depths of the pocket, etc., what was supposed to exist was
On the other hand, factual impossibility occurs when extraneous circumstances unknown to really present or not. The community suffers from the mere alarm of
the actor or beyond his control prevent the consummation of the intended crime. 16 One crime. Again: Where the thing intended (attempted) as a crime and what
example is the man who puts his hand in the coat pocket of another with the intention to is done is a sort to create alarm, in other words, excite apprehension that
steal the latter's wallet and finds the pocket empty. 17 the evil; intention will be carried out, the incipient act which the law of
attempt takes cognizance of is in reason committed.
The case at bar belongs to this category. Petitioner shoots the place where he thought his
victim would be, although in reality, the victim was not present in said place and thus, the In State vs. Mitchell, 21 defendant, with intent to kill, fired at the window of victim's room
petitioner failed to accomplish his end. thinking that the latter was inside. However, at that moment, the victim was in another part
of the house. The court convicted the accused of attempted murder.
One American case had facts almost exactly the same as this one. In People vs. Lee
Kong, 18 the accused, with intent to kill, aimed and fired at the spot where he thought the The aforecited cases are the same cases which have been relied upon by Respondent to
police officer would be. It turned out, however, that the latter was in a different place. The make this Court sustain the judgment of attempted murder against Petitioner. However, we
accused failed to hit him and to achieve his intent. The Court convicted the accused of an cannot rely upon these decisions to resolve the issue at hand. There is a difference between
attempt to kill. It held that: the Philippine and the American laws regarding the concept and appreciation of impossible
The fact that the officer was not at the spot where the attacking party
imagined where he was, and where the bullet pierced the roof, renders it In the Philippines, the Revised Penal Code, in Article 4(2), expressly provided for impossible
no less an attempt to kill. It is well settled principle of criminal law in this crimes and made the punishable. Whereas, in the United States, the Code of Crimes and
country that where the criminal result of an attempt is not accomplished Criminal Procedure is silent regarding this matter. What it provided for were attempts of the
simply because of an obstruction in the way of the thing to be operated crimes enumerated in the said Code. Furthermore, in said jurisdiction, the impossibility of
upon, and these facts are unknown to the aggressor at the time, the committing the offense is merely a defense to an attempt charge. In this regard,
criminal attempt is committed. commentators and the cases generally divide the impossibility defense into two categories:
legal versus factual impossibility. 22 In U.S. vs. Wilson 23 the Court held that:
In the case of Strokes vs. State, 19 where the accused failed to accomplish his intent to kill
the victim because the latter did not pass by the place where he was lying-in wait, the court . . . factual impossibility of the commission of the crime is not a defense.
held him liable for attempted murder. The court explained that: If the crime could have been committed had the circumstances been as
the defendant believed them to be, it is no defense that in reality the
crime was impossible of commission.
It was no fault of Strokes that the crime was not committed. . . . It only
became impossible by reason of the extraneous circumstance that Lane
did not go that way; and further, that he was arrested and prevented Legal impossibility, on the other hand, is a defense which can be invoked to avoid criminal
from committing the murder. This rule of the law has application only liability for an attempt. In U.S. vs. Berrigan, 24 the accused was indicated for attempting to
where it is inherently impossible to commit the crime. It has no smuggle letters into and out of prison. The law governing the matter made the act criminal if
application to a case where it becomes impossible for the crime to be done without knowledge and consent of the warden. In this case, the offender intended to
committed, either by outside interference or because of miscalculation as send a letter without the latter's knowledge and consent and the act was performed.
to a supposed opportunity to commit the crime which fails to materialize; However, unknown to him, the transmittal was achieved with the warden's knowledge and
in short it has no application to the case when the impossibility grows out consent. The lower court held the accused liable for attempt but the appellate court
of extraneous acts not within the control of the party. reversed. It held unacceptable the contention of the state that "elimination of impossibility
as a defense to a charge of criminal attempt, as suggested by the Model Penal Code and the
proposed federal legislation, is consistent with the overwhelming modern view". In disposing
of this contention, the Court held that the federal statutes did not contain such provision,
and thus, following the principle of legality, no person could be criminally liable for an act
which was not made criminal by law. Further, it said:

Congress has not yet enacted a law that provides that intent plus act plus
conduct constitutes the offense of attempt irrespective of legal
impossibility until such time as such legislative changes in the law take
place, this court will not fashion a new non-statutory law of criminal

To restate, in the United States, where the offense sought to be committed is factually
impossible or accomplishment, the offender cannot escape criminal liability. He can be
convicted of an attempt to commit the substantive crime where the elements of attempt are
satisfied. It appears, therefore, that the act is penalized, not as an impossible crime, but as an
attempt to commit a crime. On the other hand, where the offense is legally impossible of
accomplishment, the actor cannot be held liable for any crime neither for an attempt not
for an impossible crime. The only reason for this is that in American law, there is no such
thing as an impossible crime. Instead, it only recognizes impossibility as a defense to a crime
charge that is, attempt.

This is not true in the Philippines. In our jurisdiction, impossible crimes are recognized. The
impossibility of accomplishing the criminal intent is not merely a defense, but an act
penalized by itself. Furthermore, the phrase "inherent impossibility" that is found in Article
4(2) of the Revised Penal Code makes no distinction between factual or physical impossibility
and legal impossibility. Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos distinguere debemos.

The factual situation in the case at bar present a physical impossibility which rendered the
intended crime impossible of accomplishment. And under Article 4, paragraph 2 of the
Revised Penal Code, such is sufficient to make the act an impossible crime.

To uphold the contention of respondent that the offense was Attempted Murder because
the absence of Palangpangan was a supervening cause independent of the actor's will, will
render useless the provision in Article 4, which makes a person criminally liable for an act
"which would be an offense against persons or property, were it not for the inherent
impossibility of its accomplishment . . ." In that case all circumstances which prevented the
consummation of the offense will be treated as an accident independent of the actor's will
which is an element of attempted and frustrated felonies.

WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED. the petition is hereby GRANTED, the decision of

respondent Court of Appeals holding Petitioner guilty of Attempted Murder is hereby
MODIFIED. We hereby hold Petitioner guilty of an impossible crime as defined and penalized
in Articles 4, paragraph 2, and 59 of the Revised Penal Code, respectively. Having in mind the
social danger and degree of criminality shown by Petitioner, this Court sentences him to
suffer the penalty of six (6) months of arresto mayor, together with the accessory penalties
provided by the law, and to pay the costs.

G.R. No. 162540 July 13, 2009 issuing the checks payable to CASH. Said customer had apparently been instructed by
Jacqueline Capitle to make check payments to Mega Foam payable to CASH. Around that
GEMMA T. JACINTO, Petitioner, time, Ricablanca also received a phone call from an employee of Land Bank, Valenzuela
vs. Branch, who was looking for Generoso Capitle. The reason for the call was to inform Capitle
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent. that the subject BDO check deposited in his account had been dishonored.

DECISION Ricablanca then phoned accused Anita Valencia, a former employee/collector of Mega Foam,
asking the latter to inform Jacqueline Capitle about the phone call from Land Bank regarding
the bounced check. Ricablanca explained that she had to call and relay the message through
Valencia, because the Capitles did not have a phone; but they could be reached through
Valencia, a neighbor and former co-employee of Jacqueline Capitle at Mega Foam.
Before us is a petition for review on certiorari filed by petitioner Gemma T. Jacinto seeking
the reversal of the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR No. 23761 dated
Valencia then told Ricablanca that the check came from Baby Aquino, and instructed
December 16, 2003, affirming petitioner's conviction of the crime of Qualified Theft, and its
Ricablanca to ask Baby Aquino to replace the check with cash. Valencia also told Ricablanca
Resolution2 dated March 5, 2004 denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration.
of a plan to take the cash and divide it equally into four: for herself, Ricablanca, petitioner
Jacinto and Jacqueline Capitle. Ricablanca, upon the advise of Mega Foam's accountant,
Petitioner, along with two other women, namely, Anita Busog de Valencia y Rivera and reported the matter to the owner of Mega Foam, Joseph Dyhengco.
Jacqueline Capitle, was charged before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Caloocan City,
Branch 131, with the crime of Qualified Theft, allegedly committed as follows:
Thereafter, Joseph Dyhengco talked to Baby Aquino and was able to confirm that the latter
indeed handed petitioner a BDO check for 10,000.00 sometime in June 1997 as payment for
That on or about and sometime in the month of July 1997, in Kalookan City, Metro Manila, her purchases from Mega Foam.4 Baby Aquino further testified that, sometime in July 1997,
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring petitioner also called her on the phone to tell her that the BDO check bounced.5 Verification
together and mutually helping one another, being then all employees of MEGA FOAM from company records showed that petitioner never remitted the subject check to Mega
INTERNATIONAL INC., herein represented by JOSEPH DYHENGCO Y CO, and as such had free Foam. However, Baby Aquino said that she had already paid Mega Foam 10,000.00 cash in
access inside the aforesaid establishment, with grave abuse of trust and confidence reposed August 1997 as replacement for the dishonored check.6
upon them with intent to gain and without the knowledge and consent of the owner thereof,
did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously take, steal and deposited in their own
Generoso Capitle, presented as a hostile witness, admitted depositing the subject BDO check
account, Banco De Oro Check No. 0132649 dated July 14, 1997 in the sum of 10,000.00,
in his bank account, but explained that the check came into his possession when some
representing payment made by customer Baby Aquino to the Mega Foam Int'l. Inc. to the
unknown woman arrived at his house around the first week of July 1997 to have the check
damage and prejudice of the latter in the aforesaid stated amount of 10,000.00.
rediscounted. He parted with his cash in exchange for the check without even bothering to
inquire into the identity of the woman or her address. When he was informed by the bank
CONTRARY TO LAW.3 that the check bounced, he merely disregarded it as he didnt know where to find the woman
who rediscounted the check.
The prosecution's evidence, which both the RTC and the CA found to be more credible,
reveals the events that transpired to be as follows. Meanwhile, Dyhengco filed a Complaint with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and
worked out an entrapment operation with its agents. Ten pieces of 1,000.00 bills provided
In the month of June 1997, Isabelita Aquino Milabo, also known as Baby Aquino, handed by Dyhengco were marked and dusted with fluorescent powder by the NBI. Thereafter, the
petitioner Banco De Oro (BDO) Check Number 0132649 postdated July 14, 1997 in the bills were given to Ricablanca, who was tasked to pretend that she was going along with
amount of 10,000.00. The check was payment for Baby Aquino's purchases from Mega Valencia's plan.
Foam Int'l., Inc., and petitioner was then the collector of Mega Foam. Somehow, the check
was deposited in the Land Bank account of Generoso Capitle, the husband of Jacqueline On August 15, 2007, Ricablanca and petitioner met at the latter's house. Petitioner, who was
Capitle; the latter is the sister of petitioner and the former pricing, merchandising and then holding the bounced BDO check, handed over said check to Ricablanca. They originally
inventory clerk of Mega Foam. intended to proceed to Baby Aquino's place to have the check replaced with cash, but the
plan did not push through. However, they agreed to meet again on August 21, 2007.
Meanwhile, Rowena Ricablanca, another employee of Mega Foam, received a phone call
sometime in the middle of July from one of their customers, Jennifer Sanalila. The customer On the agreed date, Ricablanca again went to petitioners house, where she met petitioner
wanted to know if she could issue checks payable to the account of Mega Foam, instead of and Jacqueline Capitle. Petitioner, her husband, and Ricablanca went to the house of Anita
Valencia; Jacqueline Capitle decided not to go with the group because she decided to go doubt of the crime of QUALIFIED THEFT and each of them is hereby sentenced to suffer
shopping. It was only petitioner, her husband, Ricablanca and Valencia who then boarded imprisonment of FIVE (5) YEARS, FIVE (5) MONTHS AND ELEVEN (11) DAYS, as minimum, to
petitioner's jeep and went on to Baby Aquino's factory. Only Ricablanca alighted from the SIX (6) YEARS, EIGHT (8) MONTHS AND TWENTY (20) DAYS, as maximum.
jeep and entered the premises of Baby Aquino, pretending that she was getting cash from
Baby Aquino. However, the cash she actually brought out from the premises was the SO ORDERED.7
10,000.00 marked money previously given to her by Dyhengco. Ricablanca divided the
money and upon returning to the jeep, gave 5,000.00 each to Valencia and petitioner.
The three appealed to the CA and, on December 16, 2003, a Decision was promulgated, the
Thereafter, petitioner and Valencia were arrested by NBI agents, who had been watching the
dispositive portion of which reads, thus:
whole time.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the decision of the trial court is MODIFIED, in that:
Petitioner and Valencia were brought to the NBI office where the Forensic Chemist found
fluorescent powder on the palmar and dorsal aspects of both of their hands. This showed
that petitioner and Valencia handled the marked money. The NBI filed a criminal case for (a) the sentence against accused Gemma Jacinto stands;
qualified theft against the two and one Jane Doe who was later identified as Jacqueline
Capitle, the wife of Generoso Capitle. (b) the sentence against accused Anita Valencia is reduced to 4 months arresto
mayor medium.
The defense, on the other hand, denied having taken the subject check and presented the
following scenario. (c) The accused Jacqueline Capitle is acquitted.

Petitioner admitted that she was a collector for Mega Foam until she resigned on June 30, SO ORDERED.
1997, but claimed that she had stopped collecting payments from Baby Aquino for quite
some time before her resignation from the company. She further testified that, on the day of A Partial Motion for Reconsideration of the foregoing CA Decision was filed only for
the arrest, Ricablanca came to her mothers house, where she was staying at that time, and petitioner Gemma Tubale Jacinto, but the same was denied per Resolution dated March 5,
asked that she accompany her (Ricablanca) to Baby Aquino's house. Since petitioner was 2004.
going for a pre-natal check-up at the Chinese General Hospital, Ricablanca decided to hitch a
ride with the former and her husband in their jeep going to Baby Aquino's place in Caloocan
City. She allegedly had no idea why Ricablanca asked them to wait in their jeep, which they Hence, the present Petition for Review on Certiorari filed by petitioner alone, assailing the
parked outside the house of Baby Aquino, and was very surprised when Ricablanca placed Decision and Resolution of the CA. The issues raised in the petition are as follows:
the money on her lap and the NBI agents arrested them.
1. Whether or not petitioner can be convicted of a crime not charged in the
Anita Valencia also admitted that she was the cashier of Mega Foam until she resigned on information;
June 30, 1997. It was never part of her job to collect payments from customers. According to 2. Whether or not a worthless check can be the object of theft; and
her, on the morning of August 21, 1997, Ricablanca called her up on the phone, asking if she 3. Whether or not the prosecution has proved petitioner's guilt beyond reasonable
(Valencia) could accompany her (Ricablanca) to the house of Baby Aquino. Valencia claims doubt.8
that she agreed to do so, despite her admission during cross-examination that she did not The petition deserves considerable thought.
know where Baby Aquino resided, as she had never been to said house. They then met at the
house of petitioner's mother, rode the jeep of petitioner and her husband, and proceeded to The prosecution tried to establish the following pieces of evidence to constitute the elements
Baby Aquino's place. When they arrived at said place, Ricablanca alighted, but requested of the crime of qualified theft defined under Article 308, in relation to Article 310, both of the
them to wait for her in the jeep. After ten minutes, Ricablanca came out and, to her surprise, Revised Penal Code: (1) the taking of personal property - as shown by the fact that petitioner,
Ricablanca gave her money and so she even asked, "What is this?" Then, the NBI agents as collector for Mega Foam, did not remit the customer's check payment to her employer
arrested them. and, instead, appropriated it for herself; (2) said property belonged to another the check
belonged to Baby Aquino, as it was her payment for purchases she made; (3) the taking was
The trial of the three accused went its usual course and, on October 4, 1999, the RTC done with intent to gain this is presumed from the act of unlawful taking and further shown
rendered its Decision, the dispositive portion of which reads: by the fact that the check was deposited to the bank account of petitioner's brother-in-law;
(4) it was done without the owners consent petitioner hid the fact that she had received
the check payment from her employer's customer by not remitting the check to the
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Court finds accused Gemma Tubale De Jacinto y company; (5) it was accomplished without the use of violence or intimidation against
Latosa, Anita Busog De Valencia y Rivera and Jacqueline Capitle GUILTY beyond reasonable persons, nor of force upon things the check was voluntarily handed to petitioner by the
customer, as she was known to be a collector for the company; and (6) it was done with under Article 4(2) of the Revised Penal Code was further explained by the Court in Intod10 in
grave abuse of confidence petitioner is admittedly entrusted with the collection of this wise:
payments from customers.
Under this article, the act performed by the offender cannot produce an offense against
However, as may be gleaned from the aforementioned Articles of the Revised Penal persons or property because: (1) the commission of the offense is inherently impossible of
Code, the personal property subject of the theft must have some value, as the intention of accomplishment; or (2) the means employed is either (a) inadequate or (b) ineffectual.
the accused is to gain from the thing stolen.This is further bolstered by Article 309, where
the law provides that the penalty to be imposed on the accused is dependent on the value of That the offense cannot be produced because the commission of the offense is inherently
the thing stolen. impossible of accomplishment is the focus of this petition. To be impossible under this
clause, the act intended by the offender must be by its nature one impossible of
In this case, petitioner unlawfully took the postdated check belonging to Mega Foam, but the accomplishment. There must be either (1) legal impossibility, or (2) physical impossibility of
same was apparently without value, as it was subsequently dishonored. Thus, the question accomplishing the intended act in order to qualify the act as an impossible crime.
arises on whether the crime of qualified theft was actually produced.
Legal impossibility occurs where the intended acts, even if completed, would not amount to
The Court must resolve the issue in the negative. a crime.

Intod v. Court of Appeals9 is highly instructive and applicable to the present case. In Intod, the xxxx
accused, intending to kill a person, peppered the latters bedroom with bullets, but since the
intended victim was not home at the time, no harm came to him. The trial court and the CA The impossibility of killing a person already dead falls in this category.
held Intod guilty of attempted murder. But upon review by this Court, he was adjudged guilty
only of an impossible crime as defined and penalized in paragraph 2, Article 4, in relation to
On the other hand, factual impossibility occurs when extraneous circumstances unknown to
Article 59, both of the Revised Penal Code, because of the factual impossibility of producing
the actor or beyond his control prevent the consummation of the intended crime. x x x 11
the crime. Pertinent portions of said provisions read as follows:

In Intod, the Court went on to give an example of an offense that involved factual
Article 4(2). Criminal Responsibility. - Criminal responsibility shall be incurred:
impossibility, i.e., a man puts his hand in the coat pocket of another with the intention to
steal the latter's wallet, but gets nothing since the pocket is empty.
Herein petitioner's case is closely akin to the above example of factual impossibility given
2. By any person performing an act which would be an offense against persons or property, in Intod. In this case, petitioner performed all the acts to consummate the crime of qualified
were it not for the inherent impossibility of its accomplishment or on account of the theft, which is a crime against property. Petitioner's evil intent cannot be denied, as the mere
employment of inadequate to ineffectual means. (emphasis supplied) act of unlawfully taking the check meant for Mega Foam showed her intent to gain or be
unjustly enriched. Were it not for the fact that the check bounced, she would have received
Article 59. Penalty to be imposed in case of failure to commit the crime because the means the face value thereof, which was not rightfully hers. Therefore, it was only due to the
employed or the aims sought are impossible. - When the person intending to commit an extraneous circumstance of the check being unfunded, a fact unknown to petitioner at the
offense has already performed the acts for the execution of the same but nevertheless the time, that prevented the crime from being produced. The thing unlawfully taken by
crime was not produced by reason of the fact that the act intended was by its nature one of petitioner turned out to be absolutely worthless, because the check was eventually
impossible accomplishment or because the means employed by such person are essentially dishonored, and Mega Foam had received the cash to replace the value of said dishonored
inadequate to produce the result desired by him, the court, having in mind the social danger check.1avvphi1
and the degree of criminality shown by the offender, shall impose upon him the penalty
of arresto mayor or a fine ranging from 200 to 500 pesos. The fact that petitioner was later entrapped receiving the 5,000.00 marked money, which
she thought was the cash replacement for the dishonored check, is of no moment. The Court
Thus, the requisites of an impossible crime are: (1) that the act performed would be an held in Valenzuela v. People12 that under the definition of theft in Article 308 of the Revised
offense against persons or property; (2) that the act was done with evil intent; and (3) that its Penal Code, "there is only one operative act of execution by the actor involved in theft the
accomplishment was inherently impossible, or the means employed was either inadequate taking of personal property of another." Elucidating further, the Court held, thus:
or ineffectual. The aspect of the inherent impossibility of accomplishing the intended crime
x x x Parsing through the statutory definition of theft under Article 308, there is one apparent SO ORDERED.
answer provided in the language of the law that theft is already "produced" upon the
"tak[ing of] personal property of another without the latters consent." G.R. No. 166326 January 25, 2006


x x x when is the crime of theft produced? There would be all but certain unanimity in the PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
position that theft is produced when there is deprivation of personal property due to its
taking by one with intent to gain. Viewed from that perspective, it is immaterial to the DECISION
product of the felony that the offender, once having committed all the acts of execution for
theft, is able or unable to freely dispose of the property stolen since the deprivation from the
owner alone has already ensued from such acts of execution. x x x

This is a petition for review of the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR No.
27215 affirming, with modification, the Decision2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cavite,
Branch 90, in Criminal Case No. 6962-99, entitled People of the Philippines. v. Esmeraldo
x x x we have, after all, held that unlawful taking, or apoderamiento, is deemed complete Rivera, et al.
from the moment the offender gains possession of the thing, even if he has no opportunity
to dispose of the same. x x x
On April 12, 1999, an Information was filed in the RTC of Imus, Cavite, charging Esmeraldo,
Ismael and Edgardo, all surnamed Rivera, of attempted murder. The accusatory portion of
x x x Unlawful taking, which is the deprivation of ones personal property, is the element the Information reads:
which produces the felony in its consummated stage. x x x 13
That on or about the 3rd day of May 1998, in the Municipality of Dasmarias, Province of
From the above discussion, there can be no question that as of the time that petitioner took Cavite, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named
possession of the check meant for Mega Foam, she had performed all the acts to accused, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another, with intent to kill, with
consummate the crime of theft, had it not been impossible of accomplishment in this treachery and evident premeditation, did then and there, wilfully, unlawfully, and feloniously
case. The circumstance of petitioner receiving the 5,000.00 cash as supposed replacement attack, assault and hit with a piece of hollow block, one RUBEN RODIL who thereby sustained
for the dishonored check was no longer necessary for the consummation of the crime of a non-mortal injury on his head and on the different parts of his body, the accused thus
qualified theft. Obviously, the plan to convince Baby Aquino to give cash as replacement for commenced the commission of the felony directly by overt acts, but failed to perform all the
the check was hatched only after the check had been dishonored by the drawee bank. Since acts of execution which would produce the crime of Murder by reason of some causes other
the crime of theft is not a continuing offense, petitioner's act of receiving the cash than their own spontaneous desistance, that is, the said Ruben Rodil was able to ran (sic)
replacement should not be considered as a continuation of the theft. At most, the fact that away and the timely response of the policemen, to his damage and prejudice.
petitioner was caught receiving the marked money was merely corroborating evidence to
strengthen proof of her intent to gain.

Moreover, the fact that petitioner further planned to have the dishonored check replaced
Ruben Rodil testified that he used to work as a taxi driver. He stopped driving in April 1998
with cash by its issuer is a different and separate fraudulent scheme. Unfortunately, since
after a would-be rapist threatened his life. He was even given a citation as a Bayaning
said scheme was not included or covered by the allegations in the Information, the Court
Pilipino by the television network ABS-CBN for saving the would-be victim. His wife eked out
cannot pronounce judgment on the accused; otherwise, it would violate the due process
a living as a manicurist. They and their three children resided in Barangay San Isidro Labrador
clause of the Constitution. If at all, that fraudulent scheme could have been another possible
II, Dasmarias, Cavite, near the house of Esmeraldo Rivera and his brothers Ismael and
source of criminal liability.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals,
At noon of May 2, 1998, Ruben went to a nearby store to buy food. Edgardo mocked him for
dated December 16, 2003, and its Resolution dated March 5, 2004, are MODIFIED. Petitioner
being jobless and dependent on his wife for support. Ruben resented the rebuke and hurled
Gemma T. Jacinto is found GUILTY of an IMPOSSIBLE CRIME as defined and penalized in
invectives at Edgardo. A heated exchange of words ensued.
Articles 4, paragraph 2, and 59 of the Revised Penal Code, respectively. Petitioner is
sentenced to suffer the penalty of six (6) months of arrresto mayor, and to pay the costs.
At about 7:30 p.m. the next day, a Sunday, Ruben went to the store to buy food and to look The trial court gave no credence to the collective testimonies of the accused and their
for his wife. His three-year-old daughter was with him. Momentarily, Esmeraldo and his two witnesses. The accused appealed to the CA, which rendered judgment on June 8, 2004
brothers, Ismael and Edgardo, emerged from their house and ganged up on Ruben. affirming, with modification, the appealed decision. The dispositive portion of the CA
Esmeraldo and Ismael mauled Ruben with fist blows and he fell to the ground. In that decision reads:
helpless position, Edgardo hit Ruben three times with a hollow block on the parietal area.
Esmeraldo and Ismael continued mauling Ruben. People who saw the incident shouted: WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Imus, Cavite, Branch 90, is MODIFIED
"Awatin sila! Awatin sila!" Ruben felt dizzy but managed to stand up. Ismael threw a stone at in that the appellants are convicted of ATTEMPTED MURDER and sentenced to an
him, hitting him at the back. When policemen on board a mobile car arrived, Esmeraldo, indeterminate penalty of 2 years of prision correccional as minimum to 6 years and 1 day
Ismael and Edgardo fled to their house. of prision mayor as maximum. In all other respects, the decision appealed from is AFFIRMED.

Ruben was brought to the hospital. His attending physician, Dr. Lamberto Cagingin, Jr., signed SO ORDERED.9
a medical certificate in which he declared that Ruben sustained lacerated wounds on the
parietal area, cerebral concussion or contusion, hematoma on the left upper buttocks,
The accused, now petitioners, filed the instant petition for review on certiorari, alleging that
multiple abrasions on the left shoulder and hematoma periorbital left.4 The doctor declared
the CA erred in affirming the RTC decision. They insist that the prosecution failed to prove
that the lacerated wound in the parietal area was slight and superficial and would heal from
that they had the intention to kill Ruben when they mauled and hit him with a hollow block.
one to seven days.5 The doctor prescribed medicine for Rubens back pain, which he had to
Petitioners aver that, based on the testimony of Dr. Cagingin, Ruben sustained only a
take for one month.6
superficial wound in the parietal area; hence, they should be held criminally liable for
physical injuries only. Even if petitioners had the intent to kill Ruben, the prosecution failed
Esmeraldo testified that at around 1:00 p.m. on May 3, 1998, Ruben arrived at his house and to prove treachery; hence, they should be held guilty only of attempted homicide.
banged the gate. Ruben challenged him and his brothers to come out and fight. When he
went out of the house and talked to Ruben, the latter punched him. They wrestled with each
On the other hand, the CA held that the prosecution was able to prove petitioners intent to
other. He fell to the ground. Edgardo arrived and pushed Ruben aside. His wife arrived, and
kill Ruben:
he was pulled away and brought to their house.

On the first assigned error, intent to kill may be deduced from the nature of the wound
For his part, Ismael testified that he tried to pacify Ruben and his brother Esmeraldo, but
inflicted and the kind of weapon used. Intent to kill was established by victim Ruben Rodil in
Ruben grabbed him by the hair. He managed to free himself from Ruben and the latter fled.
his testimony as follows:
He went home afterwards. He did not see his brother Edgardo at the scene.

Q: And while you were being boxed by Esmeraldo and Bong, what happened next?
Edgardo declared that at about 1:00 p.m. on May 3, 1998, he was throwing garbage in front
of their house. Ruben arrived and he went inside the house to avoid a confrontation. Ruben
banged the gate and ordered him to get out of their house and even threatened to shoot A: When I was already lying [down] xxx, Dagol Rivera showed up with a piece of hollow block
him. His brother Esmeraldo went out of their house and asked Ruben what the problem was. xxx and hit me thrice on the head, Sir.
A fist fight ensued. Edgardo rushed out of the house and pushed Ruben aside. Ruben fell to
the ground. When he stood up, he pulled at Edgardos shirt and hair, and, in the process, Q: And what about the two (2), what were they doing when you were hit with a hollow block
Rubens head hit the lamp post.7 by Dagol?

On August 30, 2002, the trial court rendered judgment finding all the accused guilty beyond A: I was already lying on the ground and they kept on boxing me while Dagol was hitting, Sir.
reasonable doubt of frustrated murder. The dispositive portion of the decision reads:
As earlier stated by Dr. Cagingin, appellants could have killed the victim had the hollow block
WHEREFORE, premises considered, all the accused are found GUILTY beyond reasonable directly hit his head, and had the police not promptly intervened so that the brothers
doubt and are sentenced to an imprisonment of six (6) years and one (1) day to eight (8) scampered away. When a wound is not sufficient to cause death, but intent to kill is evident,
years of prision mayor as the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt the the crime is attempted. Intent to kill was shown by the fact that the (3) brothers helped each
culpability of the accused. Likewise, the accused are to pay, jointly and severally, civil other maul the defenseless victim, and even after he had already fallen to the ground; that
indemnity to the private complainant in the amount of P30,000.00. one of them even picked up a cement hollow block and proceeded to hit the victim on the
head with it three times; and that it was only the arrival of the policemen that made the
SO ORDERED.8 appellants desist from their concerted act of trying to kill Ruben Rodil.10
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), for its part, asserts that the decision of the CA is was committed and the motives of the accused. If the victim dies as a result of a deliberate
correct, thus: act of the malefactors, intent to kill is presumed.

The evidence and testimonies of the prosecution witnesses defeat the presumption of In the present case, the prosecution mustered the requisite quantum of evidence to prove
innocence raised by petitioners. The crime has been clearly established with petitioners as the intent of petitioners to kill Ruben. Esmeraldo and Ismael pummeled the victim with fist
the perpetrators. Their intent to kill is very evident and was established beyond reasonable blows. Even as Ruben fell to the ground, unable to defend himself against the sudden and
doubt. sustained assault of petitioners, Edgardo hit him three times with a hollow block. Edgardo
tried to hit Ruben on the head, missed, but still managed to hit the victim only in the parietal
Eyewitnesses to the crime, Alicia Vera Cruz and Lucita Villejo clearly and categorically area, resulting in a lacerated wound and cerebral contusions.
declared that the victim Ruben Rodil was walking along St. Peter Avenue when he was
suddenly boxed by Esmeraldo "Baby" Rivera. They further narrated that, soon thereafter, his That the head wounds sustained by the victim were merely superficial and could not have
two brothers Ismael and Edgardo "Dagul" Rivera, coming from St. Peter II, ganged up on the produced his death does not negate petitioners criminal liability for attempted murder. Even
victim. Both Alicia Vera Cruz and Lucita Villejo recounted that they saw Edgardo "Dagul" if Edgardo did not hit the victim squarely on the head, petitioners are still criminally liable for
Rivera pick up a hollow block and hit Ruben Rodil with it three (3) times. A careful review of attempted murder.
their testimonies revealed the suddenness and unexpectedness of the attack of petitioners.
In this case, the victim did not even have the slightest warning of the danger that lay ahead The last paragraph of Article 6 of the Revised Penal Code defines an attempt to commit a
as he was carrying his three-year old daughter. He was caught off-guard by the assault of felony, thus:
Esmeraldo "Baby" Rivera and the simultaneous attack of the two other petitioners. It was
also established that the victim was hit by Edgardo "Dagul" Rivera, while he was lying on the
There is an attempt when the offender commences the commission of a felony directly by
ground and being mauled by the other petitioners. Petitioners could have killed the victim
overt acts, and does not perform all the acts of execution which should produce the felony
had he not managed to escape and had the police not promptly intervened.
by reason of some cause or accident other than his own spontaneous desistance.

Petitioners also draw attention to the fact that the injury sustained by the victim was
The essential elements of an attempted felony are as follows:
superficial and, thus, not life threatening. The nature of the injury does not negate the intent
to kill. The Court of Appeals held:
1. The offender commences the commission of the felony directly by overt acts;
As earlier stated by Dr. Cagingin, appellants could have killed the victim had the hollow block
directly hit his head, and had the police not promptly intervened so that the brothers 2. He does not perform all the acts of execution which should produce the felony;
scampered away. When a wound is not sufficient to cause death, but intent to kill is evident,
the crime is attempted. Intent to kill was shown by the fact that the three (3) brothers helped 3. The offenders act be not stopped by his own spontaneous desistance;
each other maul the defenseless victim, and even after he had already fallen to the ground;
that one of them picked up a cement hollow block and proceeded to hit the victim on the 4. The non-performance of all acts of execution was due to cause or accident other
head with it three times; and that it was only the arrival of the policemen that made the than his spontaneous desistance.13
appellants desist from their concerted act of trying to kill Ruben Rodil.11

The first requisite of an attempted felony consists of two elements, namely:

The petition is denied for lack of merit.

(1) That there be external acts;

An essential element of murder and homicide, whether in their consummated, frustrated or
attempted stage, is intent of the offenders to kill the victim immediately before or
simultaneously with the infliction of injuries. Intent to kill is a specific intent which the (2) Such external acts have direct connection with the crime intended to be
prosecution must prove by direct or circumstantial evidence, while general criminal intent is committed.14
presumed from the commission of a felony by dolo.
The Court in People v. Lizada15 elaborated on the concept of an overt or external act, thus:
In People v.Delim,12the Court declared that evidence to prove intent to kill in crimes against
persons may consist, inter alia, in the means used by the malefactors, the nature, location An overt or external act is defined as some physical activity or deed, indicating the intention
and number of wounds sustained by the victim, the conduct of the malefactors before, at the to commit a particular crime, more than a mere planning or preparation, which if carried out
time, or immediately after the killing of the victim, the circumstances under which the crime to its complete termination following its natural course, without being frustrated by external
obstacles nor by the spontaneous desistance of the perpetrator, will logically and necessarily IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The Decision of
ripen into a concrete offense. The raison detre for the law requiring a direct overt act is that, the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED WITH THE MODIFICATION that petitioners are sentenced
in a majority of cases, the conduct of the accused consisting merely of acts of preparation to suffer an indeterminate penalty of from two (2) years of prision correccional in its
has never ceased to be equivocal; and this is necessarily so, irrespective of his declared minimum period, as minimum, to nine (9) years and four (4) months of prision mayor in its
intent. It is that quality of being equivocal that must be lacking before the act becomes one medium period, as maximum. No costs.
which may be said to be a commencement of the commission of the crime, or an overt act or
before any fragment of the crime itself has been committed, and this is so for the reason that SO ORDERED.
so long as the equivocal quality remains, no one can say with certainty what the intent of the
accused is. It is necessary that the overt act should have been the ultimate step towards the
consummation of the design. It is sufficient if it was the "first or some subsequent step in a
direct movement towards the commission of the offense after the preparations are made."
The act done need not constitute the last proximate one for completion. It is necessary,
however, that the attempt must have a causal relation to the intended crime. In the words of
Viada, the overt acts must have an immediate and necessary relation to the offense.16

In the case at bar, petitioners, who acted in concert, commenced the felony of murder by
mauling the victim and hitting him three times with a hollow block; they narrowly missed
hitting the middle portion of his head. If Edgardo had done so, Ruben would surely have died.

We reject petitioners contention that the prosecution failed to prove treachery in the
commission of the felony. Petitioners attacked the victim in a sudden and unexpected
manner as Ruben was walking with his three-year-old daughter, impervious of the imminent
peril to his life. He had no chance to defend himself and retaliate. He was overwhelmed by
the synchronized assault of the three siblings. The essence of treachery is the sudden and
unexpected attack on the victim.17 Even if the attack is frontal but is sudden and unexpected,
giving no opportunity for the victim to repel it or defend himself, there would be
treachery.18 Obviously, petitioners assaulted the victim because of the altercation between
him and petitioner Edgardo Rivera a day before. There being conspiracy by and among
petitioners, treachery is considered against all of them.19

The appellate court sentenced petitioners to suffer an indeterminate penalty of two (2) years
of prision correccionalin its minimum period, as minimum, to six years and one day of prision
mayor in its maximum period, as maximum. This is erroneous. Under Article 248 of the
Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659, the penalty for murder
is reclusion perpetua to death. Since petitioners are guilty only of attempted murder, the
penalty should be reduced by two degrees, conformably to Article 51 of the Revised Penal
Code. Under paragraph 2 of Article 61, in relation to Article 71 of the Revised Penal Code,
such a penalty is prision mayor. In the absence of any modifying circumstance in the
commission of the felony (other than the qualifying circumstance of treachery), the
maximum of the indeterminate penalty shall be taken from the medium period of prision
mayor which has a range of from eight (8) years and one (1) day to ten (10) years. To
determine the minimum of the indeterminate penalty, the penalty of prision mayor should
be reduced by one degree, prision correccional, which has a range of six (6) months and one
(1) day to six (6) years.

Hence, petitioners should be sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of from two (2)
years of prision correccional in its minimum period, as minimum, to nine (9) years and four
(4) months of prision mayor in its medium period, as maximum.
An attempted felony is defined thus:

G.R. No. L-12155 February 2, 1917 There is an attempt when the offender commences the commission of the felony
directly by overt acts, and does not perform all the acts of execution which
THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee, constitute the felony by reason of some cause or accident other than his own
vs. voluntarily desistance.
PROTASIO EDUAVE, defendant-appellant.
The crime cannot be attempted murder. This is clear from the fact that the defendant
MORELAND, J.: performed all of the acts which should have resulted in the consummated crime
and voluntarily desisted from further acts. A crime cannot be held to be attempted unless the
offender, after beginning the commission of the crime by overt acts, is prevented, against his
We believe that the accused is guilty of frustrated murder.
will, by some outside cause from performing all of the acts which should produce the crime.
In other words, to be an attempted crime the purpose of the offender must be thwarted by a
We are satisfied that there was an intent to kill in this case. A deadly weapon was used. The foreign force or agency which intervenes and compels him to stop prior to the moment when
blow was directed toward a vital part of the body. The aggressor stated his purpose to kill, he has performed all of the acts which should produce the crime as a consequence, which
thought he had killed, and threw the body into the bushes. When he gave himself up he acts it is his intention to perform. If he has performed all of the acts which should result in
declared that he had killed the complainant. the consummation of the crime and voluntarily desists from proceeding further, it can not be
an attempt. The essential element which distinguishes attempted from frustrated felony is
There was alevosia to qualify the crime as murder if death had resulted. The accused rushed that, in the latter, there is no intervention of a foreign or extraneous cause or agency
upon the girl suddenly and struck her from behind, in part at least, with a sharp bolo, between the beginning of the commission of the crime and the moment when all of the acts
producing a frightful gash in the lumbar region and slightly to the side eight and one-half have been performed which should result in the consummated crime; while in the former
inches long and two inches deep, severing all of the muscles and tissues of that part. there is such intervention and the offender does not arrive at the point of performing all of
the acts which should produce the crime. He is stopped short of that point by some cause
The motive of the crime was that the accused was incensed at the girl for the reason that she apart from his voluntary desistance.
had theretofore charged him criminally before the local officials with having raped her and
with being the cause of her pregnancy. He was her mother's querido and was living with her To put it in another way, in case of an attempt the offender never passes the subjective
as such at the time the crime here charged was committed. phase of the offense. He is interrupted and compelled to desist by the intervention of outside
causes before the subjective phase is passed.
That the accused is guilty of some crime is not denied. The only question is the precise crime
of which he should be convicted. It is contended, in the first place, that, if death has resulted, On the other hand, in case of frustrated crimes the subjective phase is completely passed.
the crime would not have been murder but homicide, and in the second place, that it is Subjectively the crime is complete. Nothing interrupted the offender while he was passing
attempted and not frustrated homicide. through the subjective phase. The crime, however, is not consummated by reason of the
intervention of causes independent of the will of the offender. He did all that was necessary
As to the first contention, we are of the opinion that the crime committed would have been to commit the crime. If the crime did not result as a consequence it was due to something
murder if the girl had been killed. It is qualified by the circumstance of alevosia, the accused beyond his control.
making a sudden attack upon his victim from the rear, or partly from the rear, and dealing
her a terrible blow in the back and side with his bolo. Such an attack necessitates the finding The subjective phase is that portion of the acts constituting the crime included between the
that it was made treacherously; and that being so the crime would have been qualified as act which begins the commission of the crime and the last act performed by the offender
murder if death had resulted. which, with the prior acts, should result in the consummated crime. From that time forward
the phase is objective. It may also be said to be that period occupied by the acts of the
As to the second contention, we are of the opinion that the crime was frustrated and not offender over which he has control that period between the point where he begins and
attempted murder. Article 3 of the Penal Code defines a frustrated felony as follows: the points where he voluntarily desists. If between these two points the offender is stopped
by reason of any cause outside of his own voluntary desistance, the subjective phase has not
been passed and it is an attempt. If he is not so stopped but continues until he performs the
A felony is frustrated when the offender performs all the acts of execution which last act, it is frustrated.
should produce the felony as a consequence, but which, nevertheless, do not
produce it by reason of causes independent of the will of the perpetrator.
That the case before us is frustrated is clear.
The penalty should have been thirteen years of cadena temporal there being neither
aggravating nor mitigating circumstance. As so modified, the judgment is affirmed with costs.
So ordered.
G.R. No. 122099 July 5, 2000 Trial thereafter ensued after which the court a quo rendered judgment only against accused
Agapito Listerio because his co-accused Samson dela Torre escaped during the presentation
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, of the prosecutions evidence and he was not tried in absentia. The dispositive portion of the
vs. decision3 reads:
AGAPITO LISTERIO y PRADO, accused-appellant. WHEREFORE, finding Accused AGAPITO LISTERIO guilty beyond reasonable doubt, he is
1. For the death of Jeonito Araque y Daniel in Criminal Case NO. 91-

For the deadly assault on the brothers Jeonito Araque and Marlon Araque, Agapito Listerio y 2. For the attempt to kill Marlon Araque y Daniel, in Criminal Case No. 91-5843, he
Prado, Samson dela Torre y Esquela, Marlon dela Torre, George dela Torre, Bonifacio is sentenced to six (6) months and one (1) day as minimum, to four (4) years as
Bancaya and several others who are still at large were charged in two (2) separate Amended maximum;
Informations with Murder and Frustrated Murder.
3. As civil indemnity, he is ordered to indemnify the heirs of Jeonito Araque y
In Criminal Case No. 91-5842 the Amended Information1 for Murder alleges Daniel the sum[s] of :

That on or about the 11th day of August 1991 in the Municipality of Muntinlupa, Metro P54,200.66 as actual damages;
Manila, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named P50,000.00 as moral damages;
accused, conspiring and confederating together and mutually helping and aiding one P5,000.00 as exemplary damages.
another, all armed with bladed weapons and GI lead pipes, with intent to kill, treachery and
evident premeditation with abuse of superior strength did then and there willfully, 4. And for the damages sustained by Marlon Araque y Daniel, he is required to pay
unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and stab one Jeonito Araque y Daniel at the back of Marlon Araque y Daniel, the sum[s] of :
his body, thereby inflicting upon the latter mortal wounds which directly caused his death.
P5,000.00 as actual damages;
P5,000.00 as moral damages; and
P5,000.00 as exemplary damages
In Criminal Case No. 91-5843, the Amended Information2 for Frustrated Homicide charges:
Dissatisfied, accused Agapito Listerio interposed this appeal alleging that
That on or about the 14th day of May 1991 in the Municipality of Muntinlupa, Metro Manila,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction this Honorable Court, the above-named accused,
conspiring, confederating together, mutually helping and aiding one another, with intent to
kill did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously stab and hit with a lead pipe and
bladed weapon one Marlon Araque y Daniel on the vital portions of his body, thereby
inflicting serious and mortal wounds which would have cause[d] the death of the said victim
thus performing all the acts of execution which should have produce[d] the crime of
Homicide as a consequence but nevertheless did not produce it by reason of causes
independent of their will, that is by timely and able medical attendance rendered to said
Marlon Araque y Daniel which prevented his death.

The version of the prosecution of what transpired on that fateful day of August 14, 1991
culled from the eyewitness account of Marlon Araque discloses that at around 5:00 p.m. of
August 14, 1991, he and his brother Jeonito were in Purok 4, Alabang, Muntinlupa to collect a
Upon arraignment, accused Agapito Listerio y Prado and Samson dela Torre y Esquela sum of money from a certain Tino.5 Having failed to collect anything from Tino, Marlon and
pleaded not guilty to the crimes charged. Their other co-accused have remained at large. Jeonito then turned back.6 On their way back while they were passing Tramo near Tinos
place,7 a group composed of Agapito Listerio, Samson dela Torre, George dela Torre, Marlon 2. At around 1:00 oclock in the afternoon of August 14, 1991, Accused-Appellant
dela Torre and Bonifacio Bancaya8 blocked their path9 and attacked them with lead pipes and was in the store of Nimfa Agustin having a little fun with Edgar Demolador and
bladed weapons.10 Andres Gininao drinking beer. At around 2:00 oclock Accused-appellant went to his
house and slept.36
Agapito Listerio, Marlon dela Torre and George dela Torre, who were armed with bladed
weapons, stabbed Jeonito Araque from behind.11 Jeonito sustained three (3) stab wounds on 3. While asleep, at about 5 oclock, Edgar Remolador and Andres Gininao woke him
the upper right portion of his back, another on the lower right portion and the third on the up and told him there was a quarrel near the railroad track.37
middle portion of the left side of his back12 causing him to fall down.13 Marlon Araque was hit
on the head by Samson dela Torre and Bonifacio Bancaya with lead pipes and momentarily 4. At around 6:00 oclock two (2) policemen passed by going to the house of
lost consciousness.14 When he regained his senses three (3) minutes later, he saw that Samson de la Torre while Accused-appellant was chatting with Edgar Remolador
Jeonito was already dead.15Their assailants then fled after the incident.16 Marlon Araque who and Andres Gininao. These two (2) policemen together with co-accused Samson de
sustained injuries in the arm and back,17 was thereafter brought to a hospital for treatment.18 la Torre came back and invited Accused-appellant for questioning at the
Muntinlupa Police Headquarters together with Edgar Demolador and Andres
Marlon Araque was examined by Dr. Salvador Manimtim, head of the Medico Legal Division Gininao. Subsequently, Edgar Demolador and Andres Gininao were sent home.38
of the UP-PGH, 19 who thereafter issued a Medical Certificate20 indicating that Marlon Araque
sustained two (2) lacerated wounds, one measuring 5 centimeters in length located in the 5. At the Police Station, Accused-Appellant was handed a Sinumpaang Salaysay
center (mid-parietal area) of the ear.21 The second lacerated wound measuring 2 centimeters executed by Marlon Araque, implicating him for the death of Jeonito Araque and
in length is located at the mid-frontal area commonly known as the forehead.22 A third the frustrated murder of Marlon Araque. Accused-Appellant confronted Marlon
lacerated wound measuring 1.5 centimeters long is located at the forearm23 and a fourth Araque as to why he was being included in the case. Marlon Araque answered
which is a stab wound measuring 3 centimeters is located at the right shoulder at the "because you eject[ed] us from your house."39
collar.24 Elaborating on the nature of Marlon Araques injuries, Dr. Manimtim explained in
detail during cross-examination that the two (2) wounds on the forearm and the shoulder
Professing his innocence, accused-appellant claims that Marlon Araques uncorroborated
were caused by a sharp object like a knife while the rest were caused by a blunt instrument
testimony failed to clearly and positively identify him as the malefactor responsible for his
such as a lead pipe.25
brothers death. In fine, he insists that Marlons testimony is insufficient to convict him of the
crimes charged.
Dr. Bievenido Munoz, NBI Medico Legal Officer conducted an autopsy on the cadaver of
Jeonito Araque26 and prepared an Autopsy Report27 of his findings. The report which contains
We disagree.
a detailed description of the injuries inflicted on the victim shows that the deceased
sustained three (3) stab wounds all of them inflicted from behind by a sharp, pointed and
single-bladed instrument like a kitchen knife, balisong or any similar instrument.28 The first It is well settled that witnesses are to be weighed, not numbered, such that the testimony of
stab wound, measuring 1.7 centimeters with an approximate depth of 11.0 centimeters, a single, trustworthy and credible witness could be sufficient to convict an accused. 40 More
perforated the lower lobe of the left lung and the thoracic aorta.29 Considering the explicitly, the well entrenched rule is that "the testimony of a lone eyewitness, if found
involvement of a vital organ and a major blood vessel, the wound was considered fatal.30 The positive and credible by the trial court is sufficient to support a conviction especially when
second wound, measuring 2.4 centimeters, affected the skin and underlying soft tissues and the testimony bears the earmarks of truth and sincerity and had been delivered
did not penetrate the body cavity.31 The third wound measuring 2.7 centimeters was like the spontaneously, naturally and in a straightforward manner. It has been held that witnesses
second and involved only the soft tissues.32 Unlike the first, the second and third wounds are to be weighed not numbered; hence, it is not at all uncommon to reach a conclusion of
were non-fatal.33 Dr. Munoz averred that of the three, the first and second wounds were guilt on the basis of the testimony of a single witness."41
inflicted by knife thrusts delivered starting below going upward by assailants who were
standing behind the victim.34 The trial court found Marlon Araques version of what transpired candid and straightforward.
We defer to the lower courts findings on this point consistent with the oft-repeated
On the other hand, accused-appellants version of the incident is summed thus in his brief: pronouncement that: "the trial judge is the best and the most competent person who can
weigh and evaluate the testimony of witnesses. His firsthand look at the declarants
demeanor, conduct and attitude at the trial places him in a peculiar position to discriminate
1. Accused-appellant is 39 years old, married, side walk vendor and a resident of
between the true and the false. Consequently appellate courts will not disturb the trial
Purok 4, Bayanan, Muntinlupa, Metro Manila. He earns a living by selling
courts findings save only in cases where arbitrariness has set in and disregard for the facts
important to the case have been overlooked."42
The account of Marlon Araque as to how they were assaulted by the group of accused- Q While you were going back, was there any untoward incidents that happened?
appellant was given in a categorical, convincing and straightforward manner: A Yes sir "Hinarang po kami."
Q Now, what particular place [where] you were waylaid, if you recall?
Q Mr. Witness, do you know a certain Jeonito Araque y Daniel? A In Tramo, near Tinos place.
A Yes, sir. Q And who were the persons that were waylaid (sic)?
Q And why do you know him? A Agapito Listerio, Samson dela Torre, George dela Torre and Bonifacio.
A He is my brother. Q Will you please inform the Honorable Court how will (sic) you waylaid by these persons?
Q Where is Jeonito Araque now? A We were walking then suddenly they stabbed us with knife (sic) and ran afterwards.
A He is already dead. Q Who were the persons that waylaid you?
Q When did he die? A Agapito Listerio, George and Marlon.
A Last August 14. Q How about your brother, what happened to him?
Q Do you know of your own knowledge how he died? A He fall (sic) down.
A Yes, sir. Q And after he fall (sic) down, do you know what happened?
Q Will you please inform the Honorable Court what is your own knowledge? A I was hit by a lead pipe thats why I painted (sic).
A He was stabbed, sir. Q Do you know the reason why your brother fall (sic) down?
Q Do you know the person or persons who stabbed him? A I cannot recall, sir. Because I already painted (sic).
A Yes, sir. Q Do you know the reason why your brother fall (sic) before you painted (sic)?
Q Will you please inform the Honorable Court who are these person or persons, if you know? A Yes, sir.
A Its (sic) Agapito Listerio, Samson dela Torre, George dela Torre, Marlon dela Torre and Q Will you please inform the Honorable Court why your brother fall (sic) down?
Bonifacio. xxx xxx xxx
Q Now if these persons [are] inside the courtroom, could you identify them? A Yes, sir, because he was stabbed.
A They (sic) are only two persons but the three persons is (sic) not around. Q What particular place of his body was [he] stabbed if you know?
Q Could you please point to this Honorable Court who are these two persons in side the A At the back of his body.
courtroom? Q Do you know the person or persons who was (sic) stabbed him?
A Yes, sir (Witness pointing to a persons [sic] and when asked [identified themselves as] A Yes, sir.
Agapito Listerio and Samson dela Torre.) Q Will you please inform the Honorable Court who was that persons was stabbed him?
Q Now, at around 5:00 oclock in the afternoon of August 14, 1991, do you recall where were A Agapito, Marlon and George.
you? COURT
A Yes, sir. How many stabbed [him], if you know?
Q Will you please inform the Honorable Court where were you at that time? A Three (3), sir.
A Im in Alabang at Purok 4 and Im collecting. COURT
Q Do you have any companion at that time? In what particular part of his body was stabbed wound (sic)?
A Yes, sir. A Witness pointing to his back upper right portion of the back, another on the lower right
Q What are you doing at that time in [that] particular date? portion and another on the middle portion of the left side at the back.
A Im collecting from a certain Tino. COURT
Q Were you able to collect? Proceed.
A No, sir. Q Will you please inform the Honorable Court why you are (sic) lost consciousness?
Q If you said that there were no collections, what did you do? A I was hit by [a] lead pipe by Samson and Bonifacio.
A We went back. Q And when did you regain consciousness?
Q When you went back, did you have any companion? A After three minutes.
A Yes, sir. Q And when you gain[ed] consciousness, what happened to your brother?
Q Who was your companion? A He was already dead.
A My brother.
Q How about you, what did you do? killing of a loved one usually strive to remember the faces of the assailants.46 Marlons
A I go (sic) to the Hospital. credibility cannot be doubted in this case because as a victim himself and an eyewitness to
Q How about the accused, the persons who way laid, what happened to them? the incident, it can be clearly gleaned from the foregoing excerpts of his testimony that he
remembered with a high degree of reliability the identity of the malefactors.47
A From what I know, they ran away.43
Persistent efforts by defense counsel to establish that the attack was provoked, by eliciting
Likewise, there is no showing that he was motivated by any ill-feeling or bad blood to falsely
from Marlon Araque an admission that he and the deceased had a drinking spree with their
testify against accused-appellant. Being a victim himself, he is expected to seek justice. It is
attackers prior to the incident, proved futile as Marlon steadfastly maintained on cross settled that if the accused had nothing to do with the crime, it would be against the natural
examination that he and his brother never drank liquor on that fateful day: order of events to falsely impute charges of wrongdoing upon him.48Accused-appellant
Q After your work, was there an occasion when you drink something with your borther (sic)? likewise insists on the absence of conspiracy and treachery in the attack on the victims.
A No, sir.
Q And you stand to your testimony that you never drink (sic) on August 14, 1991? We remain unconvinced.
A Yes, sir.
Q Were (sic) there no occasion on August 14, 1991 when you visited Sonny Sari-Sari Store at It must be remembered that direct proof of conspiracy is rarely found for criminals do not
4:00 p.m. on August 14, 1991? write down their lawless plans and plots.49 Conspiracy may be inferred from the acts of the
A No, sir. accused before, during and after the commission of the crime which indubitably point to and
are indicative of a joint purpose, concert of action and community of interest.50 Indeed
Q And did you not have a drinking spree with George dela Torre?
A No, sir.
A conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the
Q Marlon dela Torre?
commission of a felony and decide to commit it. To establish the existence of a conspiracy,
A No, sir. direct proof is not essential since it may be shown by facts and circumstances from which
Q Bonifacio? may be logically inferred the existence of a common design among the accused to commit
A With your borther (sic)? the offense charged, or it may be deduced from the mode and manner in which the offense
Q So you want to tell this Honorable Court that there was no point in time on August 14, was perpetrated.51
1991 at 4:00 p.m. that you did not take a sip of wine?
A No, sir. More explicitly
Q Neither your brother?
Atty. Agoot conspiracy need not be established by direct evidence of acts charged, but may and
Objection, Your Honor, the question is vague. generally must be proved by a number of indefinite acts, conditions and circumstances,
COURT which vary according to the purpose accomplished. Previous agreement to commit a crime is
not essential to establish a conspiracy, it being sufficient that the condition attending to its
Ask another question.
commission and the acts executed may be indicative of a common design to accomplish a
Q Mr. Witness, will you please tell the Honorable Court where this George dela Torre, Marlon criminal purpose and objective. If there is a chain of circumstances to that effect, conspiracy
dela Torre and a certain Bonifacio were? can be established.52
Atty. Agoot
Witness is incompetent. Thus, the rule is that conspiracy must be shown to exist by direct or circumstantial evidence,
Q Mr. Witness, you testified that it was your brother the deceased who invited you to Purok as clearly and convincingly as the crime itself.53 In the absence of direct proof thereof, as in
4? the present case, it may be deduced from the mode, method, and manner by which the
A Yes, sir. offense was perpetrated, or inferred from the acts of the accused themselves when such acts
point to a joint purpose and design, concerted action and community of interest.54Hence, it is
Atty. Lumakang
necessary that a conspirator should have performed some overt acts as a direct or indirect
That will be all for the witness, your Honor.44 contribution in the execution of the crime planned to be committed. The overt act may
consist of active participation in the actual commission of the crime itself, or it may consist of
That Marlon was able to recognize the assailants can hardly be doubted because relatives of moral assistance to his con-conspirators by being present at the commission of the crime or
the victim have a natural knack for remembering the faces of the attackers and they, more by exerting moral ascendancy over the other co-conspirators.55
than anybody else, would be concerned with obtaining justice for the victim by the felons
being brought to the face of the law.45 Indeed, family members who have witnessed the
Conspiracy transcends mere companionship, it denotes an intentional participation in the In stark contrast to the evidence pointing to him as one of the assailants of the victims,
transaction with a view to the furtherance of the common design and purpose. 56 "Conspiracy accused-appellant proffers the defense of alibi. At the risk of sounding trite, it must be
to exist does not require an agreement for an appreciable period prior to the remembered that alibi is generally considered with suspicion and always received with
occurrence.57 From the legal standpoint, conspiracy exists if, at the time of the commission of caution because it can be easily fabricated.68 For alibi to serve as a basis for acquittal, the
the offense, the accused had the same purpose and were united in its execution."58 In this accused must establish that: a.] he was present at another place at the time of the
case, the presence of accused-appellant and his colleagues, all of them armed with deadly perpetration of the offense; and b.] it would thus be physically impossible for him to have
weapons at the locus criminis, indubitably shows their criminal design to kill the victims. been at the scene of the crime.69

Nowhere is it more evident than in this case where accused-appellant and his cohorts Suffice it to state that accused-appellant failed to discharge this burden. The positive
blocked the path of the victims and as a group attacked them with lead pipes and bladed identification of the accused as one of the perpetrators of the crime by the prosecution
weapons. Accused-appellant and his companions acted in concert during the assault on the eyewitness, absent any showing of ill-motive, must prevail over the weak and obviously
victims. Each member of the group performed specific and coordinated acts as to indicate fabricated alibi of accused-appellant.70 Furthermore, as aptly pointed out by the trial court
beyond doubt a common criminal design or purpose.59 Thus, even assuming arguendo that "[t]he place where the accused was at the time of the killing is only 100 meters away. The
the prosecution eyewitness may have been unclear as to who delivered the fatal blow on the distance of his house to the place of the incident makes him physically possible to be a
victim, accused-appellant as a conspirator is equally liable for the crime as it is unnecessary participant in the killing [of Jeonito] and [the] wounding of Marlon."71
to determine who inflicted the fatal wound because in conspiracy, the act of one is the act of
all.60 All told, an overall scrutiny of the records of this case leads us to no other conclusion than
that accused-appellant is guilty as charged for Murder in Criminal Case No. 91-5842.
As to the qualifying circumstances here present, the treacherous manner in which accused-
appellant and his group perpetrated the crime is shown not only by the sudden and In Criminal Case No. 91-5843, wherein accused-appellant was indicted for Frustrated
unexpected attack upon the unsuspecting and apparently unarmed victims but also by the Homicide, the trial court convicted accused-appellant of Attempted Homicide only on the
deliberate manner in which the assault was perpetrated. In this case, the accused-appellant basis of Dr. Manimtims testimony that none of the wounds sustained by Marlon Araque
and his companions, all of them armed with bladed weapons and lead pipes, blocked were fatal.
(hinarang) the path of the victims effectively cutting off their escape.61 In the ensuing attack,
the deceased was stabbed three (3) times from behind by a sharp, pointed and single-bladed
The reasoning of the lower court on this point is flawed because it is not the gravity of the
instrument like a kitchen knife, balisong or similar instrument62 while Marlon Araque
wounds inflicted which determines whether a felony is attempted or frustrated but whether
sustained lacerated wounds in the head caused by blows inflicted by lead pipes as well as
or not the subjective phase in the commission of an offense has been passed. By subjective
stab wounds on the shoulder and forearm which were caused by a sharp object like a knife.63
phase is meant "[t]hat portion of the acts constituting the crime included between the act
which begins the commission of the crime and the last act performed by the offender which,
It must be noted in this regard that the manner in which the stab wounds were inflicted on with the prior acts, should result in the consummated crime. From that time forward, the
the deceased were clearly meant to kill without posing any danger to the malefactors phase is objective. It may also be said to be that period occupied by the acts of the offender
considering their locations and the fact that they were caused by knife thrusts starting below over which he has control that period between the point where he begins and the point
going upward by assailants who were standing behind the victim.64 Treachery is present where he voluntarily desists. If between these two points the offender is stopped by reason
when the offender commits any of the crimes against persons employing means, methods or of any cause outside of his own voluntary desistance, the subjective phase has not been
forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and specially to insure its execution, passed and it is an attempt. If he is not so stopped but continues until he performs the last
without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make.65 That act, it is frustrated."72
circumstance qualifies the crime into murder.
It must be remembered that a felony is frustrated when: 1.] the offender has performed all
The commission of the crime was also attended by abuse of superior strength on account of the acts of execution which would produce the felony; 2.] the felony is not produced due to
the fact that accused-appellant and his companions were not only numerically superior to causes independent of the perpetrators will.73On the other hand, in an attempted felony: 1.]
the victims but also because all of them, armed with bladed weapons and lead pipes, the offender commits overt acts to commence the perpetration of the crime; 2.] he is not
purposely used force out of proportion to the means of defense available to the persons able to perform all the acts of execution which should produce the felony; and 3.] his failure
attacked. However, this aggravating circumstance is already absorbed in to perform all the acts of execution was due to some cause or accident other than his
treachery.66 Furthermore, although alleged in the information, evident premeditation was spontaneous desistance.74 The distinction between an attempted and frustrated felony was
not proved by the prosecution. In the light of the finding of conspiracy, evident lucidly differentiated thus in the leading case of U.S. v. Eduave:75
premeditation need not be further appreciated, absent concrete proof as to how and when
the plan to kill was hatched or what time had elapsed before it was carried out.67
A crime cannot be held to be attempted unless the offender, after beginning the commission murder or homicide, defined and penalized in the preceding articles, a penalty lower by one
of the crime by overt acts, is prevented, against his will, by some outside cause from degree than that which should be imposed under the provisions of article 50.81
performing all of the acts which should produce the crime. In other words, to be an
attempted crime the purpose of the offender must be thwarted by a foreign force or agency The courts, considering the facts of the case, may likewise reduce by one degree the penalty
which intervenes and compels him to stop prior to the moment when he has performed all of which under article 51 should be imposed for an attempt to commit any of such crimes.
the acts which should produce the crime as a consequence, which acts it is his intention to
perform. If he has performed all the acts which should result in the consummation of the
The penalty for Homicide is reclusion temporal82 thus, the penalty one degree lower would
crime and voluntarily desists from proceeding further, it cannot be an attempt. The essential
be prision mayor.83 With the presence of the aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior
element which distinguishes attempted from frustrated felony is that, in the latter, there is
strength and no mitigating circumstances, the penalty is to be imposed in its maximum
no intervention of a foreign or extraneous cause or agency between the beginning of the
period.84 Prision mayor in its maximum period ranges from ten (10) years and one (1) day to
commission of crime and the moment when all the acts have been performed which should
twelve (12) years. Applying further the Indeterminate Sentence Law,85 the minimum of the
result in the consummated crime; while in the former there is such intervention and the
imposable penalty shall be within the range of the penalty next lower in degree, i.e. prision
offender does not arrive at the point of performing all of the acts which should produce the
correccional in its maximum period which has a range of six (6) months and one (1) day to six
crime. He is stopped short of that point by some cause apart from his voluntary desistance.
(6) years.

To put it another way, in case of an attempt the offender never passes the subjective phase
What now remains to be determined is the propriety of the awards made by the trial court
of the offense. He is interrupted and compelled to desist by the intervention of outside
with regard to the civil aspect of the case for the death of Jeonito Araque and the injuries
causes before the subjective phase is passed.
sustained by Marlon Araque.

On the other hand, in case of frustrated crimes, the subjective phase is completely passed.
Anent actual or compensatory damages, it bears stressing that only substantiated and
Subjectively the crime is complete. Nothing interrupted the offender while he was passing
proven expenses or those which appear to have been genuinely incurred in connection with
through the subjective phase. The crime, however, is not consummated by reason of the
the death, wake or burial of the victim will be recognized by the courts.86 In this case, the
intervention of causes independent of the will of the offender. He did all that was necessary
expenses incurred for the wake, funeral and burial of the deceased are substantiated by
to commit the crime. If the crime did not result as a consequence it was due to something
receipts.87 The trial courts award for actual damages for the death of Jeonito Araque should
beyond his control.
therefore be affirmed.

In relation to the foregoing, it bears stressing that intent to kill determines whether the
In line with current jurisprudence,88 the award of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity ex
infliction of injuries should be punished as attempted or frustrated murder, homicide,
delicto must also be sustained as it requires no proof other than the fact of death of the
parricide or consummated physical injuries.76 Homicidal intent must be evidenced by acts
victim and the assailants responsibility therefor.89 The award for moral damages for the pain
which at the time of their execution are unmistakably calculated to produce the death of the
and sorrow suffered by the victims family in connection with his untimely death must
victim by adequate means.77 Suffice it to state that the intent to kill of the malefactors herein
likewise be affirmed. The award is adequate, reasonable and with sufficient basis taking into
who were armed with bladed weapons and lead pipes can hardly be doubted given the
consideration the anguish and suffering of the deceaseds family particularly his mother who
prevailing facts of the case. It also can not be denied that the crime is a frustrated felony not
relied solely upon him for support.90 The award of exemplary damages should likewise be
an attempted offense considering that after being stabbed and clubbed twice in the head as
affirmed considering that an aggravating circumstance attended the commission of the
a result of which he lost consciousness and fell, Marlons attackers apparently thought he
was already dead and fled.

The trial court, however, correctly ignored the claim for loss of income or earning capacity of
An appeal in a criminal case throws the whole case wide open for review78 and the reviewing
the deceased for lack of factual basis.1wphi1 The estimate given by the deceaseds sister on
tribunal can correct errors, though unassigned in the appealed judgement 79 or even reverse
his alleged income as a pre-cast businessman is not supported by competent evidence like
the trial courts decision on the basis of grounds other than those that the parties raised as
income tax returns or receipts. It bears emphasizing in this regard that compensation for lost
errors.80 With the foregoing in mind, we now address the question of the proper penalties to
income is in the nature of damages92 and as such requires due proof thereof.93 In short, there
be imposed.
must be unbiased proof of the deceaseds average income.94 In this case, the victims sister
merely gave an oral, self-serving and hence unreliable statement of her deceased brothers
With regard to the frustrated felony, Article 250 of the Revised Penal Code provides that income.

ART. 250. Penalty for frustrated parricide, murder, or homicide. The courts, in view of the As for the awards given to Marlon Araque, the award for actual damages must be affirmed as
facts of the case, may impose upon the person guilty of the frustrated crime of parricide, the same is supported by documentary evidence.95 With regard to moral and exemplary
damages, the same being distinct from each other require separate determination.96 The
award for moral damages must be struck down as the victim himself did not testify as to the
moral suffering he sustained as a result of the assault on his person. For lack of competent
proof such an award is improper.97 The award for exemplary damages must, however, be
retained considering that under Article 2230 of the Civil Code, such damages may be
imposed "when the crime is committed with one or more aggravating circumstances." 98

Finally, this Court has observed that the trial court did not render judgment against accused
Samson dela Torre, notwithstanding that he was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to both
charges. Under the circumstances, he should be deemed to have been tried in absentia and,
considering the evidence presented by the prosecution against him, convicted of the crime
charged together with appellant Agapito Listerio.

WHEREFORE, the appealed decision is AFFIRMED with the following MODIFICATIONS:

1.] the award of P5,000.00 to Marlon Araque by way of moral damages in Criminal
Case No. 91-5843 is DELETED;

2.] Accused-Appellant is found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt in Criminal Case

No. 91-5843 of Frustrated Homicide and is sentenced to suffer an indeterminate
penalty of Six (6) Years of Prision Correccional, as minimum to Ten (10) Years and
One (1) Day of Prision Mayor, as maximum.

After finality of this Decision, the records shall be remanded to the Regional Trial Court of
Makati City, which is directed to render judgment based on the evidence against Samson
dela Torre y Esquela.