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G.R. No. L-35156 November 20, 1981 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. FLORO RODIL defendant-appellant.

MAKASIAR, J.: Facts: Lt. Masana together with Fidel, Ligsa and Mojica was having lunch when th eir attention was called by Rodil. Masana, in civilian clothing, went outside a nd asked Rodil, after identifying himself as a PC officer, whether the gun that was tucked under his shirt had a license. Instead if answering Rodil attempted t o draw his gun but Fidel grabbed the gave and gave it to Masana. The three went inside the restaurant and Masana wrote a receipt for the gun and he asked Rodil to sign it but the appellant refused to do so. Masana refused to return the gun to Rodil and as Masana was about to stand up Rodil pulled out his dagger and st abbed Masana several times on the chest and stomach causing his death after seve ral hours. Chief of Police Panaligan of Indang, Cavite, who happened to be taki ng his lunch in the same restaurant embraced and/or grabbed the accused from beh ind, and thereafter wrested the dagger from the accused-appellant. Immediately t hereafter, the Chief of Police brought the accused to the municipal building of Indang, Cavite. Issue: WON the aggravating circumstance of disregard of rank should be apprecia ted. Held: YES. The aggravating circumstance of disregard of rank should be appreciat ed because it is obvious that the victim, PC. Lt. Masana Identified himself as a PC officer to the accused who is merely a member of the Anti-Smuggling Unit and therefore inferior both in rank and social status to the victim.The term "rank" should be given its plain, ordinary meaning, and as such, refers to a high soci al position or standing as a grade in the armed forces. The aggravating circumstance of contempt of, or insult to, public authority unde r paragraph 2 of Article 14 of the Revised Penal Code can likewise be appreciate d in the case at bar. The evidence of the prosecution clearly established that C hief of Police Primo Panaligan of Indang was present as he was taking his lunch in the same restaurant when the incident occurred. As a matter of fact, the said chief of police was the one who embraced or grabbed the accused from behind, wr ested the dagger from him and thereafter brought him to the municipal building o f Indang. And appellant admittedly knew him even then as the town chief of polic e, although he now claims that he went to the municipal building to surrender to the chief of police who was not allegedly in the restaurant during the incident . Chief of police is considered a public authority or a person in authority for he is vested with jurisdiction or authority to maintain peace and order and is s pecifically duty bound to prosecute and to apprehend violators of the law.