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1.

US vs Delos Reyes (GR 13309, Art 4)


 I cannot find this case.

2. US vs Artemio Mojica (G.R. No. 17650 , February 15, 1922 / 42 Phil 784  Art 11, Par
1)
Doctrine:

 A police officer, in the performance of his duty, must stand his ground and cannot,
like a private individual, take refuge in flight; his duty requires him to overcome his
opponent. The force which he may exert therefore differs somewhat from that
which may ordinarily be offered in self-defense

Facts:

The defendant is charged with the crime of homicide, the information alleging that on or about the
14th day of December, 1920, in the city of Manila, the accused, Artemio Mojica, voluntarily, illegally,
and criminally, without any justification and with the intent to kill, attacked one Crispin Macasinag,
discharging against him a revolver and inflicted upon him a wound in the chest from the effects of
which said Crispin Macasinag died. The lower court found the accused guilty and sentenced him to
fourteen years, eight months and one day of reclusion temporal, with the accessory penalties of the
law and the costs, and to indemnify the heirs of the deceased in the sum of P1,000. The case is
before this court upon appeal from this sentence.

The deceased was a Constabulary soldier stationed at the Santa Lucia Barracks and the accused a
policeman in the city of Manila. The evidence shows that on the evening of December 13, 1920, a
Constabulary soldier and a woman, having been found on the City Wall under somewhat suspicious
circumstances, were taken in charge by the police and subjected to an investigation. The incident
caused considerable irritation among the constabulary troops stationed at Santa Lucia Barracks
and later in the evening the appellant, who had taken no part in the arrest and investigation, and
another police officer by the name of Evangelista, were stopped on a public street by three
Constabulary soldiers, armed, respectively, with a rifle, a bayonet, and a stone, and were made to
hold up their hands and threatened with death if they did not produce the soldier and the woman
who had been arrested. The timely arrival of a patrol wagon saved the policeman from further
indignities.

On the afternoon of the following day the appellant was detailed to patrol Calle Real in the Walled
City from the Santa Lucia Barracks to the Parian Gate. An unusual number of Constabulary men
congregated on the street patrolled by the appellant and displayed a decidely hostile attitude
towards him, on one occasion going so far as to push him off the sidewalk causing him to fall down.
The appellant also heard some of them remark that he was the one who had made the arrest above-
mentioned. He also observed that most of the Constabulary soldiers kept one hand in their pockets
holding open knifes in such manner that the outlines of the points could be seen through the cloth.
The appellant advised the Luneta police station by telephone at various times during the afternoon
of the hostile attitude of the soldiers. Finally, he appears to have become seriously alarmed and
took refuge in a restaurant from which he telephoned to the police station for assistance. In
response to his call, police reserves from the Luneta station arrived on the scene. The appellant did
not leave the restaurant until the arrival of the reserves.

The reserves having arrived, the policemen undertook to clear the street of the Constabulary men,
who showed a defiant attitude and in some instances resisted the police. One of the Constabulary
soldiers, the deceased Crispin Macasinag, was placed under arrest by an American police officer
who endeavored to conduct him from the middle of the street and over to the sidewalk. He resisted
the officer and finally succeeded in freeing himself. He then confronted policeman Duque whom he
struck with his fist and who returned the blow with his club. Macasinag reeled from the blow
inflicted on him by Duque and while apparently in a somewhat dazed condition, drew his mess kit
knife and brandishing it attacked the appellant. The appellant retreated a step or two, drew his
revolver and discharged it at Macasinag inflicting a wound from which the latter died a few days
later.

The appellant admits having killed Macasinag, but maintains that he did so in self-defense and that
he, therefore, is exempt from criminal liability under paragraph 4 of article 8 of the Penal Code.

Issue:

Whether or not the defense of the appellant tenable.

Held:

ART. 8. The following are exempt from criminal liability:

Anyone who acts in defense of his person or rights, provided that the following circumstances
concur:

(1) Unlawful aggression;

(2) Reasonable necessity for the means employed to prevent or it;

(3) Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself.

That there was unlawful aggression on Macasinag's part cannot be disputed. Neither does there
appear to have been any provocation on the part of the accused, who, as far as the evidence shows,
took no part in the acts of violence alleged by the Constabulary soldiers to have been committed
against them by the police officers. This leaves only the question of the reasonable necessity for the
means employed by the appellant to repel the unlawful aggression of the deceased.

A police officer, in the performance of his duty, must stand his ground and cannot, like a private
individual, take refuge in flight; his duty requires him to overcome his opponent. The force which
he may exert therefore differs somewhat from that which may ordinarily be offered in self-defense.
Bearing this in mind, we do not think that the appellant in using his revolver against the deceased
can be said to have employed unnecessary force. The deceased attacked him with a deadly weapon;
he might, perhaps, have saved himself by running away, but this his duty forbade, Was he to allow
himself to be stabbed before using his arms? It may, perhaps, be argued that the appellant might
have used his club, but a policeman's club is not a very effective weapon as against a drawn knife
and a police officer is not required to afford a person attacking him the opportunity for a fair and
equal struggle. (State vs. Phillips, 119 Iowa, 652; 67 L.R.A., 292; North Carolina vs. Gosnell, 74 Fed.,
734; Boykin vs. People, 22 Colo., 496; 45 Pac., 419; Adams vs. State, 72 Ga., 85.) And if it was
necessary for the appellant to use his revolver, he could hardly, under the circumstances, be
expected to take deliberate and careful aim so as to strike a point less vulnerable than the body of
his adversary. (U.S. vs. Mack, 8 Phil., 701; U.S. vs. Domen, 37 Phil., 57.)

Considering the threatening attitude of Macasinag, the appellant had the best of reasons for
believing that his life was in imminent danger and we think the means employed by him for his
defense were, in the circumstance, reasonably necessary.

The judgment of the trial court is therefore reversed and the appellant acquitted of the crime with
which he is charged, with the costs in both instances de oficio. So ordered.

3. US vs Macalintal (G.R. No. 1331,August 25, 1903 Art 13, Par 6)


Doctrine:
 The accused, in the belief that their mother's illness was due to a spell of witchcraft
cast upon her by the deceased, in order to compel the latter to remove the spell,
inflicted upon her torments which resulted in her death. The qualifying
circumstance of deliberate cruelty (ensañamiento) should not be applied, inasmuch
as the ill treatment of the deceased vas not inflicted with the deliberate intent of
wantonly augmenting her sufferings, and that the crime should be classified as
manslaughter (homicidio).
 Where it appears that the accused killed the deceased in the belief, entertained by
them in good faith, that she had cast upon their mother a spell of witchcraft which
was the cause of a serious illness, it is proper to apply in mitigation of the penalty
the circumstance of having acted under the impulse of so powerful a motive as to
naturally produce passion and obfuscation.
Facts:

On the night of the 12th of September, 1902, Maria Estevan, the mother of Isidoro, having fallen
sick, he suspected that she was bewitched, and therefore struck her several blows, asking her who
witch was; that his mother then replied that the witch's name was Saturnina, whereupon her son,
the accused Palad, searched for Saturnina Austria in Sibul, in the town of San Miguel, and, having
found her, forcibly dragged her from her house and took her to Batong-Uling, where, with criminal
intent and deliberate cruelty, the two accused cut off her two ears and threw her into the water,
deliberately and inhumanly augmenting the sufferings of the victim; and then, after kicking her on
the head, produced her death by causing her head to strike a rock, in all of which Palad was aided
by the accused Macalintal.

The witnesses Andres Castro, Margarita Gumabun, and Julia de Jesus stated that one morning, when
they happened to be going by the place known as Batong-Uling, they saw the two accused plunging
Saturnina Austria into the water of the river, and entirely submerging her, and that the deceased
finally sank. The woman Gumabun added that the motive was that the deceased had bewitched the
mother of Isidoro Palad.

The accused plead not guilty of the crime with which they were charged. The testimony of the
accused, which in substance corroborates the statements of the eyewitnesses, the guilt of the two
accused as coprincipals by direct participation in the homicide in question is fully proved.

Issue: Whether or not the mitigating circumstance of passion or obfuscation was present in the
commission of the crime.

Held:

Yes. The mitigating circumstance of passion or obfuscation was present.

The facts established show clearly that the accused acted on the impulse of passion and obfuscation,
caused by the false belief that the illness of this sick woman was due to the witchcraft and
incantations of the deceased Saturnina Austria, because the sick woman, groaning with pain, said
that Saturnina was squeezing her throat. We must consider that the accused in fact believed in good
faith that these ailments were due to witchcraft, in view of their ignorance and the vulgar belief which
unfortunately still exists in such matters in many parts of the provinces.

One of these two mitigating circumstances of abuse of superiority, of which the accused
undoubtedly availed themselves in inflicting the illtreatment upon the victim. Consequently the
proper punishment will be the minimum grade of the penalty prescribed by Article 404 of the Penal
Code.

Although the information charges the accused with the crime of murder, and the court below in its
judgment passed sentence upon them for this crime, nevertheless as the crime of homicide is
necessarily included in that of murder — as the killing of a human being is defined as homicide or
as murder according to whether or not some qualifying circumstance which constitutes the higher
crime concurred — the provisions of section 29 of General Orders, No. 58, are applicable, and the
judgment of the court below should be reversed and the accused convicted of the crime of
homicide, as such action does not affect their rights, but, on the contrary, is favorable to them.

4. People vs Porfirio Dumdum, Jr. and Renato Peralta (G.R. No. L-35279, July 30, 1979
Art 14, Par 13)

Doctrine:

 Their confessions seem to indicate that the killing was aggravated by evident premeditation
because they conceived of the assault at least one hour before its perpetration. Even if that
circumstance is not taken into account, the penalty would still be death in view of the
special aggravating circumstance of quasi-recidivism which justifies the imposition, in the
maximum period, of reclusion temporal maximum to death, the penalty for murder.
 The mitigating circumstances of plea of guilty and voluntary surrender to the authorities
would not preclude the imposition of the death penalty. (Remember that death penalty is
indivisible.)
Facts:

At about 1 o’clock in the afternoon of September 7, 1971, Dumdum and Peralta stabbed
Macadangdang using an improvised bladed weapon in the national penitentiary at Muntinlupa,
Rizal. He sustained three incised wounds located on the neck, right arm and left hand and eight stab
wounds: four on the chest, one on the abdomen, one on the right shoulder and two in the lumbar
region. The wounds on the chest, which affected his heart, lung, liver and stomach, were fatal. The
victim died at the prison hospital.

Dumdum, a prisoner serving sentence for theft, and Peralta, a prisoner serving sentence for
robbery, both members of the Happy Go Lucky gang, were investigated in connection with the
killing of Macadangdang and they declared in their confessions that they waited for the victim and
assaulted him when he passed in front of the Four Square Chapel of the New Bilibid Prison and that
the killing was planned an hour before it was perpetrated. The motive was revenge. Dumdum and
Peralta purposed to avenge the stabbing of Lolito Fabella, the "mayor" of their gang, by the Tagalog
group belonging to the Komando and Bahala gangs.

At their arraignment, the accused were assisted by a counsel de oficio and pleaded guilty, the trial
judge asked them separately whether they knew when they pleaded guilty that they would be
punished. They answered in the affirmative. They told the court that it was already a long time that
they thought of pleading guilty, that they were not forced to make that plea and that due to remorse
they had to admit the commission of the crime.

The trial court sentenced the two accused to death and did not appeal. Counsel de oficio in his brief
argues that the trial court erred in convicting the accused on the basis of their plea of guilty. He
contends that there was no showing that the accused had been properly arraigned and that they
were aware of the gravity of the offense charged.

Issue : Whether or not the aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation was present in the
commission of the crime.

Held:

Yes.

The guilt of the accused was established beyond reasonable doubt. The crime committed by them is
asesinato qualified by treachery absorbing abuse of superiority. They deliberately perpetrated a
surprise assault on the unarmed victim without giving him a chance to defend himself.

Their confessions seem to indicate that the killing was aggravated by evident premeditation because
they conceived of the assault at least one hour before its perpetration. Even if that circumstance is not
taken into account, the penalty would still be death in view of the special aggravating circumstance of
quasi-recidivism which justifies the imposition, in the maximum period, of reclusion temporal
maximum to death, the penalty for murder.
For that same reason, the mitigating circumstances of plea of guilty and voluntary surrender to the
authorities would not preclude the imposition of the death penalty.

5. Florencio Pelobello vs. Gregorio Palatino (G.R. No. L-48100, June 20, 1941 / 72 Phil
441Art 36)

Doctrine:

 The constitutional grant in this jurisdiction is not to unnecessarily restrict or impair the
power of the Chief Executive who, after inquiry into the environmental facts, should be at
liberty to atone the rigidity of the law to the extent of relieving completely the party or
parties concerned from the accessory and resultant disabilities of criminal conviction.

Facts:

The petitioner-appellant, Florencio Pelobello, instituted quo warranto proceedings in the Court of
First Instance of Tayabas against the respondent-appellee, Gregorio Palatino, the mayor-elect of the
municipality of Torrijos, Province of Marinduque. The proceedings were had pursuant to the
provisions of section 167, in relation with section 94 (a), of the Election Code (Commonwealth Act
No. 357). It was alleged that the respondent-appellee, having been convicted by final judgment in
1912 of atendado contra la autoridad y sus agentes and sentenced to imprisonment for two years, four
months and one day of prision correccional, was disqualified from voting and being voted upon for the
contested municipal office, such disqualification not having been removed by plenary pardon.

The fact of conviction as above set forth is admitted; so is the election and consequent proclamation
of the respondent-appellee for the office of municipal mayor. It is also admitted that the
respondent-appellee was granted by the Governor-General a conditional pardon back in 1915; and
it has been proven (Vide Exhibit 1, admitted by the lower court, rec. of ap., p. 20) that on December
25, 1940, His Excellency, the President of the Philippines, granted the respondent-appellee absolute
pardon and restored him to the enjoyment of full civil and political rights.

Issue:

Whether or not the absolute pardon had the effect of removing the disqualification incident to
criminal conviction under paragraph (a) of section 94 of the Election Code, the pardon having been
granted after the election but before the date fixed by law for assuming office (sec. 4, Election
Code).

Held:

Yes.
Without the necessity of inquiring into the historical background of the benign prerogative of
mercy, we adopt the broad view expressed in Cristobal vs. Labrador that subject to the limitations
imposed by the Constitution, the pardoning power cannot be restricted or controlled by legislative
action; that an absolute pardon not only blots out the crime committed but removes all disabilities
resulting from the conviction, and that when granted after the term of imprisonment has expired,
absolute pardon removes all that is left of the consequences of conviction. While there may be force in
the argument which finds support in well considered cases that the effect of absolute pardon should
not be extended to cases of this kind, we are of the opinion that the better view in the light of the
constitutional grant in this jurisdiction is not to unnecessarily restrict or impair the power of the
Chief Executive who, after inquiry into the environmental facts, should be at liberty to atone the
rigidity of the law to the extent of relieving completely the party or parties concerned from the
accessory and resultant disabilities of criminal conviction. In the case at bar, it is admitted that the
respondent mayor-elect committed the offense more than 25 years ago; that he had already
merited conditional pardon from the Governor-General in 1915; that thereafter he had exercised
the right of suffrage, was elected councilor of Torrijos, Marinduque, for the period 1918 to 1921;
was elected municipal president of that municipality three times in succession (1922-1931); and
finally elected mayor of the municipality in the election for local officials in December, 1940. Under
these circumstances, it is evident that the purpose in granting him absolute pardon was to enable
him to assume the position in deference to the popular will; and the pardon was thus extended on
the date mentioned hereinabove and before the date fixed in section 4 of the Election Code for
assuming office. We see no reason for defeating this wholesome purpose by a restrictive judicial
interpretation of the constitutional grant to the Chief Executive. We, therefore, give efficacy to
executive action and disregard what at bottom is a technical objection.

6. Eugenio Cabral vs. Hon. Benigno M. Puno, Judge of the Court of First Instance of
Bulacan, Provincial Fiscal of Bulacan, and Silvino San DiegO (70 SCRA 6060 G.R. No.
L-41692, April 30, 1976 Art 91)

Doctrine:
 The offended party had constructive notice of the forgery after the deed of sale, where his
signature had been falsified , were registered in the Office of the Register of Deeds on
August 26, 1948.  The period of prescription commences to run from the date of the
commission of crime if it is known at the time of its commission.

Facts:

Petitioner Eugenio Cabral was accused of Falsification of Public Documents for allegedly falsifying
on August 14, 1948 the signature of private respondent Silvino San Diego in a deed of sale of a
parcel of land. Cabral moved to quash the Information on the ground of prescription of the crime
charge, since the said document of sale was notarized on August 14, 1948 and registered with the
Register of Deeds of Bulacan on August 26, 1948. The said notarization caused the cancellation of
the original certificate of title and a new transfer certificate of title was then issued. On March 25,
1975, the motion to quash was granted on the ground of prescription. Private prosecutor filed a
motion for reconsideration of the said Resolution. However, according to petitioner Cabral,
respondent San Diego can no longer intervene in the criminal case, having filed a civil action against
the same accused (Cabral) on the basis of the same factual averments contained in the criminal
information. The Fiscal, upon the order of respondent Judge Puno, submitted his comment
expressing the view that the crime, has not prescribed as Silvino San Diego stated that he only
discovered the crime sometime in October 1970, and that in the interest of justice, arraignment and
trial is proper to ventilate the respective evidence of both parties in their total meaning.

Two (2) days later, respondent Judge set aside the grant of motion to quash. Petitioner Cabral
moved for reconsideration of the Order on the ground that (a) "the judgment of acquittal which
became final immediately upon promulgation and could not, therefore, be recalled for correction or
amendment"; and (b) by instituting Civil Case No. 120-V-74, respondent San Diego lost his right to
intervene in the prosecution of the criminal case. This motion was denied, as well as the second
motion for reconsideration.

Issue:

Whether or not the Resolution of March 25, 1975 (granting the motion to quash and dismissing the
Information) based on prescription is a bar to another prosecution for the same offense

Held:

YES.

The Resolution of March 25, 1975 dismissing the Information on the ground of prescription of the
crime became a bar to another charge of falsification, including the revival of the Information. This
is more so, because said Resolution had already become final and executory. When the Fiscal
moved to reinstate the case on May 21, 1975, or about two (2) months from receipt of a copy of the
order of dismissal, the same had already long been final. The Rules of Court is explicit that an order
sustaining a motion to quash based on prescription is a bar to another prosecution for the same
offense. Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code also provides that "prescription of the crime" is one of
the grounds for "total extinction of criminal liability." Petitioner was charged with the crime of
falsification under Article 172, sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) of the Revised Penal Code, which carries
an imposable penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods and a fine of not
more than P5,000.00. This crime prescribes ten (10) years. Here, San Diego had actual if not
constructive notice of the alleged forgery after the document was registered in the Register of
Deeds on August 26, 1948. While it is true that the offended party, San Diego, through the private
prosecutor, filed a motion 'for reconsideration within the reglementary fifteen-day period, such
move did not stop the running of the period for appeal. He (private prosecutor) did not have the
legal personality to appeal or file the motion for reconsideration on his (San Diego‘s) behalf. The
prosecution in a criminal case through the private prosecutor is under the direction and control of
the Fiscal, and only the motion for reconsideration or appeal filed by the Fiscal could have
interrupted the period for appeal. More important, he lost his right to intervene in the criminal case.
Prior to the filing of the criminal case on September 24, 1974, the spouses Silvino San Diego and
Eugenia Alcantara, on the basis of the same allegations that San Diego's signature on the deed of
August 14, 1948 was a forgery, filed on May 2, 1974 an action against Eugenio Cabral and Sabina
Silvestre, with the Bulacan Court of First Instance (Civil Case No. 120-V-74) for the recovery of the
same property and damages. It appearing, therefore, from the record that at the time the order of
dismissal was issued there was a pending civil action arising out of the same alleged forged
document filed by the offended party against the same defendant, the offended party has no right to
intervene in the prosecution of the criminal case and consequently cannot ask for the
reconsideration of the order of dismissal, or appeal from said order.