Digested Cases in Criminal Law

The invocation of self-defense is an admission of the killing and its authorship. By this admission, the burden of proof shifts to the accused who must establish all elements of the justifying circumstance. The nature and number of wounds inflicted disprove the plea of self-defense because they demonstrate determined effort to kill and not just defend himself. (People v. Magayac G.R. No. 126043, April 19, 2000)

It is a settled rule that when unlawful aggression ceases, the defender has no longer any right to kill or wound the former aggressor, otherwise, retaliation and not self-defense is committed. (People v. Cotas G.R. No. 132043 May 31, 2000)

Unlawful aggression must refer to an attack or a threat to attack, positively showing the intent of the aggressor to cause injury, not merely a threatening attitude. (People v. Sabdani G.R. No. 134262, June 28, 2000)

Defense of Property

This justifying circumstance cannot be appreciated when there was no attack made on the person claiming the benefit of this circumstance and when he merely suspected that his property was stolen. In this case, there was unlawful killing as the shooting of the alleged thieves were not reasonably necessary to defend his property. (People v. Ignacio G.R. No. 134568 February 10, 2000)

EXEMPTING CIRCUMSTANCES

Insanity, under Article 12 of the Revised Penal Code, connotes that the accused must have been deprived completely of reason and freedom of the will at the time of the commission of the crime, or that he must have acted without the least discernment. Mere abnormality of the accused's mental faculties does not exclude imputability. (People v. Aquino G.R. No. 128887 January 20, 2000) The totality of the acts will show whether the accused was fully conscious of what he was doing. (People v. Pambid G.R. No. 124453, March 15, 2000)

An accused invoking the insanity defense pleads not guilty by reason thereof. He admits committing the crime but claims that he is not guilty because he was insane at the time of its commission. Hence, the accused is tried on the issue of sanity alone and if found to be sane, a judgment of conviction is rendered without any trial on the issue of guilt as he had already admitted committing the crime. (People v. Madarang G.R. No. 132319 May 12, 2000)

To ascertain a person’s mental condition at the time of the act, it is permissible to receive evidence of the condition of his mind within a reasonable period before and after the incident. Direct testimony is not required. Neither are specific acts of derangement essential to establish insanity as a defense. Circumstantial evidence, if clear and convincing suffices. (People v Estrada G.R. No. 130487 June 19, 2000)

MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES

Passion/Obfuscation; Intoxication

As to the claim of the mitigating circumstance of passion or obfuscation, the same is bereft of merit because his acts did not result from an impulse arising from lawful sentiments but from a spirit of lawlessness.

For intoxication to be mitigating, the following conditions must be present: (1) the same is not habitual or is not subsequent to the plan of the commission of a felony; otherwise, it is aggravating if it is habitual and intentional; and (2) the consumption of alcoholic drinks was in such quantity as to blur the accused's reason and deprive him of a certain degree of control. (People v Aquino G.R. No. G.R. No. 128887 January 20, 2000)

Incomplete Mitigating Circumstance; Performance of Duty A peace officer is never justified in using unnecessary force or violence in effecting arrest when the arrest can be effected otherwise. (Roque Galang v CA G.R. No. 128536 January 31, 2000)

Physical Disability; Lack of Intent to Commit so Grave a Wrong; Provocation

The following mitigating circumstances cannot be appreciated when: (1) There was no showing that the physical defect i.e. a limp caused by polio, restricted a person’s means of defense or action or communication with his fellow beings. (2) lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong cannot be appreciated when the wounds inflicted are serious enough to cause and in fact caused the crime charged. (3) The murder and frustrated murder committed by the accused-appellants is in great disparity with the provocation made by the victim or if the provocation did not originate from the latter, and ample time had lapsed from the time of the provocation to the time of the killing. (People v Francisco G.R. Nos. 118573-74 May 31, 2000)

Voluntary Surrender

The defense must show intent to surrender unconditionally to the authorities, because of an acknowledgment of guilt, or because of a wish to spare them the trouble and the expense concomitant to the search and the capture of the accused. The surrender was not voluntary when the accused was forced to give himself up, because members of the barangay tanod were already inside his house, thereby precluding his escape. (People v. Ignacio G.R. No. 134568 February 10, 2000)

AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES

Treachery

When a person is intoxicated and unarmed his unruly behavior and the verbal invectives he hurled against no one in particular does not justify the attack against him which was made in a surreptitious manner and without provocation. (People v. Jose G.R. No. 130666 January 31, 2000)

Although the victim had a previous misunderstanding, with the accused, he probably thought that everything was forgotten when he received an amiable invitation by the five men to join them for a drink. That he was able to run away to seek succor does not negate the presence of alevosia because the wounded victim, in fact, had little opportunity to run far. (People v Lumacang G.R. No. 120283 February 1, 2000)

The mere fact that there was a feud between appellant and the victims did not necessarily prove that the attack was expected. If the victims had been expecting an attack, they should not have brought the youngsters with them. In any event, an accused cannot escape the appreciation of alevosia by threatening the victims in advance. (People v. Cabande G.R. No. 132747 February 8, 2000)

By diverting the attention of Valiente to the approaching Dejoras and Cupino, Galos was obviously making sure that the victim could not defend himself. When Valiente turned his back, Galos began his attack, which eventually led to the stabbing of the former. Treachery need not necessarily be precluded by either the occurrence of a tussle before the victim was killed or by the frontal nature of the attack. (People v Cupino G.R. No. 125688 April 3, 2000)

Treachery cannot be appreciated where the accused shot the victim as a result of a rash and impetuous impulse rather than from a deliberate act of the will. The shooting was an instantaneous response to the damning curses shouted at the driver and passengers by the victim. (People v Acuram G.R. No. 117954 April 27, 2000)

The fact that the victim was warned did not negate the finding of treachery for the reason that this may still be appreciated even when the victim was forewarned of the danger to his person. The essence of treachery is the suddenness and unexpectedness of the assault without the slightest provocation on the part of the person attacked. (People v Pascual G.R. No. 127761 April 28, 2000)

The mere fact that the victim was shot at the back while attempting to run away from his assailant would not per se qualify the crime to murder. Clearly then, with the first gunshot, the victim has been placed on guard and has, in fact, attempted to flee. The crime should be homicide and not murder. (People v Ladit G.R. No. 127571 May 11, 2000)

Treachery may still be appreciated even when the victim was forewarned of the danger to his person. What is decisive is that the execution of the attack made it impossible for the victim to defend himself or to retaliate. The victim was totally defenseless when he went out of his hiding place. His left hand was extended as if in supplication and surrender but accused-appellant shot him nonetheless. (People v Tanoy G.R. No. 115692 May 12, 2000)

Although the victim was forewarned of the danger to his person because of the fight, treachery may still be appreciated. What is decisive is that the execution of the attack made it impossible for the victim to defend himself or retaliate. The overwhelming number of the accused, their use of weapons against an unarmed victim, and the fact that the victim’s hands were held behind him preclude the possibility of defense by the victim. (People v. Forca, Teston and Gaco G.R. No. 134938 June 8, 2000)

There is no treachery when the subjective element - the deliberate choice of the method of assault with the special view of accomplishing the act without risk to the assailant - is missing, when there is no proof as to the conscious adoption of such method to accomplish the crime. (People v Arellano G.R. No. 122477 June 30, 2000)

Evident Premeditation

Evident premeditation is based on overt acts which demonstrate notoriously and manifestly the criminal intent. In this case, accused-appellant's threat to the victim was an overt act which manifested evident premeditation. (People v Dimailig G.R. No. 120170 May 31, 2000)

Settled in the rule that when it is not shown as to how and when the plan to kill was hatched or what time had elapsed before it was carried out, evident premeditation cannot be considered. (People v Enolva G.R. Nos. 131633-34 January 25, 2000) Evident premeditation must be based on external acts which are evident, not merely suspected, and which indicate deliberate planning. It cannot be presumed from mere lapse of time. (People v Orio G.R. No. 128821 April 12, 2000)

Cruelty

The test of cruelty is whether the accused deliberately and sadistically augmented the victim’s suffering. The fact that the victim was clobbered and kicked before being shot is not cruelty. (People v Ricafranca G.R. Nos. 124384-86 January 28, 2000)

Abuse of Superior Strength

An attack made by a man with a deadly weapon upon an unarmed and mentally retarded woman constitutes the circumstance of abuse of superiority which his sex and the weapon used in the act afforded him, and from which the woman was unable to defend herself. (People v Espina G.R. No. 123102 February 29, 2000)

Aggravating circumstance of advantage of superior strength is appreciated when there is inequality of forces between the victim and aggressor, assuring a superior strength notoriously advantageous and aggressive which is selected or taken advantage of by the accused in the commission of the crime. The use of force was entirely out of proportion to whatever means of defense available to the victim. (People v Paramil G.R. No. 128056-57 March 31, 2000)

Nocturnity, Cruelty, Dwelling

1) The scene of the crime was sufficiently illuminated by a kerosene lamp, hence nocturnity cannot be appreciated as it was shown that the place was adequately lighted. The prosecution also failed to prove that nighttime was especially sought by the accused or taken advantage of by him or that nighttime facilitated the commission of the crime.

2) Although the victim sustained 10 stab wounds, these multiple wounds alone do not prove that the accused deliberately inflicted the wounds to prolong unnecessarily her physical suffering. Thus cruelty cannot be appreciated in the case at bar.

3) When the victim was abducted while she was inside her house, dwelling can be appreciated as an aggravating circumstance considering that it is not necessary that the accused should have entered the dwelling of the victim. (People v Lacanieta et al. G.R. No. 124299 April 12, 2000)

For the circumstance of dwelling to be considered, it is not necessary that the accused should have actually entered the dwelling of the victim to commit the offense. It is enough that the victim was attacked inside his own house, although the assailant may have devised means to perpetrate the assault from without. (People v Dacibar G.R. No. 111286 February 17, 2000)

Taking Advantage of Public Position

The mere fact that the accused was a member of the CAFGU and was issued a rifle are not sufficient to establish that he misused his public position in the commission of the crimes. (People v Villa G.R. No. 129899 April 27, 2000)

Rape/ Intentional Mutilation as Aggravating Circumstances

It cannot be conclusively stated that the victim was raped. The fact that she was no longer wearing her underwear when the cadaver was found and that there was hematoma formations on both sides of the vaginal canal and near the urethral opening are not conclusive proof of rape. Likewise, intentional mutilation cannot be considered as no vital body part was severed. The fact that the victim’s tongue was half-bitten does not prove intentional mutilation since it could have been caused by the victim herself when she was fighting to breathe for air while she was being strangled by the assailants. (People vs Fabon G.R. No. 133226 March 16, 2000)

CONSPIRACY

No direct proof is necessary to show that conspiracy exists among the assailants. Community of criminal design may be inferred from the conduct of the accused before, during and after the commission of the crime. (People v Barona G. R. No. 119595 January 25, 2000)

Mere speculation, relationship, association and companionship do not prove conspiracy. There was no proof which indicated Freddie’s prior knowledge of Rogelio’s unlawful objective. Flight during and after a violent encounter is an overpowering impulse triggered by no other force than the instinct of self-preservation and not a proof of conspiracy. (People v Norona G.R. No. 132192 March 31, 2000)

To hold an accused guilty as a co-principal by reason of conspiracy, he must be shown to have performed an overt act in pursuance of the complicity. In the present case, one of the accused tried to prevent his co-accused from stabbing the victim, clearly showing that he did not support the criminal intent and conspiracy of the others. (People v Cupino G.R. No. 125688 April 3, 2000)

Whether or not it was specifically accused-appellant who inflicted the fatal wound is of no moment inasmuch as once conspiracy has been established, it is unnecessary to pinpoint who among the accused inflicted the fatal blow. All the conspirators are liable as co-principals regardless of the extent and character of their participation, because the act of one is the act of all. (People v Go-od et al. G.R. No. 134505 May 9, 2000)

A conspirator must, perform an overt act in furtherance of the plan to commit a felony; mere presence at the scene of the incident, knowledge of the plan or acquiescence thereto are not sufficient grounds to hold a person liable as a conspirator. Conspiracy must be established as any element of the crime and evidence of such must be proven beyond reasonable doubt. (Salvatierra v CA G.R. No. 115998 June 16, 2000)

There is nothing irregular with the acquittal of one of the supposed co-conspirators and the conviction of another. As long as the acquittal of a co-conspirator does not remove the basis of a charge of conspiracy, one defendant may be found guilty of the offense and another acquitted. (People v Arlalejo G.R. No. 127841 June 12, 2000)

PERSONS CRIMINALLY LIABLE

Principal by Indispensable Cooperation

The Court, in previous cases have held that holding the hand of the victim to render him immobile while he is being stabbed amounts to an act of indispensable cooperation without which the crime would not have been accomplished. (People v Quillosa G.R. No. 115687 February 17, 2000)

Acts of an Accomplice

Where the records did not show that Villoceno had knowledge of Cual’s intent to hack the victim and concurred with his criminal design, he cannot be convicted as an accomplice. (People v Cual and Villoceno G.R. No. 131925 March 9, 2000)

Subsidiary Liability of an Employer

Where the employer knew of the criminal case filed because it was his truck that was involved, but he did not intervene in the criminal proceedings despite evidence adduced to show employer-employee relationship, he is deemed to have been afforded due process; and he cannot avoid subsidiary liability for the crime committed by his employee when the trial court’s judgment has become final and executory. (Basilio v CA G.R. No. 113433 March 17, 2000)

Principal v Accomplice

It has been previously held that the liability of one whose participation in a crime was limited to driving for the killers, or one who himself tied the victims hands and joined armed men in taking the victim to the hills, is only an accomplice. The rationale for these rulings is that the quantum of proof required to establish conspiracy is lacking, the doubt created as to whether accused acted as principal or accomplice will always be resolved in favor of the milder form of criminal liability which is that of a mere accomplice. (People Ragundiaz G.R. No. 124977 June 22, 2000)

SPECIFIC OFFENSES

Illegal Possession of Timber

The opening paragraph of BFD Circular No. 10-83 expressly states that the issuance of a Certificate of Origin for lumber is required in order to pinpoint accountability and

responsibility for shipment of lumber and to have uniformity in documenting the origin thereof. (Pallada vs People of the Philippines G.R. No. 131270 March 17, 2000)

Dangerous Drugs Act

They is no actual or constructive possession when there was no showing that the accused knew of the presence of prohibited drugs in the car where they were apprehended by authorities. (People v Escano G.R. No. 129756-58 January 28, 2000)

Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act

Where there was no manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross negligence on the part of a public officer representing a government agency he cannot be convicted under RA 3019 even if his representation resulted in incidental benefits to a private individual involved in the same transaction. (General Bank and Trust Co. v Ombudsman G.R. 125440 January 31, 2000)

It must be noted that one of the principal reasons for the acquittal of Limbago was the fact that the government – the only entity which the law seeks to protect- was amply protected by virtue of the written undertaking issued by the petitioner to refund whatever amount may be found as the overprice. Petitioner, being the one who gave the written guarantee and who saved the government from any perceived injury must likewise be acquitted as there was no contract which was grossly or manifestly disadvantageous to the government. (Froilan vs Sandiganbayan G.R. No. 115222 March 17, 2000)

Kidnapping

For the crime of kidnapping to prosper, the intent of the accused to deprive the victim of his liberty, in any manner, has to be established by indubitable proof. In the case at bar, the deprivation of Lolita's liberty was amply established when the victim explained that she could not leave for fear of being killed. Fear has been known to render people immobile and appeals to the fears of an individual, such as by threats to kill or similar threats, are equivalent to the use of actual force or violence which is one of the elements of the crime of kidnapping. (People v Cortez G.R. No. 131619-20 February 1, 2000)

Illegal Possession of Firearms

Where the arresting officer failed to present the grenade for verification to the PNP Firearms and Explosives Unit, the second element of the crime of illegal possession of firearms is not proved, specifically, the lack of a license to possess the said explosives. (People v Cortez G.R. No. 131619-20 February 1, 2000)

Qualified Illegal Possession of Firearms vis-avis Murder

Where an accused uses an unlicensed firearm in committing homicide or murder, he may no longer be charged with what used to be the two separate offenses of homicide or murder under the Revised Penal Code and qualified illegal possession of firearms used in homicide or murder under P.D. No. 1866. As amended by R.A. No. 8294, P.D. No. 1866 now mandates that the accused will be prosecuted only for the crime of homicide or murder with the fact of illegal possession of firearms being relegated to a mere special aggravating circumstance. Thus, illegal possession of firearms may now be said to have taken a dual personality: in its simple form, it is an offense in itself, but when any killing attends it, illegal possession of firearms is reduced to a mere aggravating circumstance that must be alleged in the information in order to be appreciated in the determination of the criminal liability of the accused. (People v Lumilan G.R. No. 102706 January 25, 2000)

Malversation

To justify conviction for malversation of public funds, the prosecution has only to prove that the accused received public funds; and that he could not account for them, or did not have the same in his possession and could not give reasonable excuse for its disappearance. An accountable officer may be convicted even if there is no direct evidence of misappropriation and the only evidence is that there is a shortage of his accounts which he has not been able to explain satisfactorily. (Estrella v Sandiganbayan G.R. No. 125160 June 20, 2000)

Qualified Theft

In the absence of proof that accused–appellant took the motorcycle by force, violence or intimidation, a charge of robbery with homicide cannot be sustained the crime is qualified theft. (People v Dela Cruz G.R. No. 125936 February 23, 2000)

Where all the elements of theft are present, and the same was committed by a trusted employee of a company, the crime committed is qualified theft with abuse of confidence. (People v Bago G.R. No. 12290 April 6, 2000)

Estafa vis-avis Qualified Theft

A bank’s cash custodian, has no juridical possession over the funds. With this element lacking, he cannot be convicted of estafa. Her possession of the cash belonging to the bank is akin to that of a bank teller, both being employees. In People v Locson, a teller who misappropriated money received for the bank was found liable for qualified theft, on the theory that possession of the teller is possession of the bank. (Chua Burce v CA G.R. No. 109595 April 27, 2000)

Estafa

A person who is convicted of illegal recruitment may, in addition, be convicted of estafa under Art. 315(2)(a) of the Revised Penal Code. There is no problem of double jeopardy because illegal recruitment is malum prohibitum, in which the criminal intent is not necessary, whereas estafa is malum in se in which the criminal intent of the accused is necessary. (People v Ong G.R. No. 119594 January 18, 2000)

The true nature of the contracts between the petitioner and private respondents was that of a simple loan. In such a contract, the debtor promises to pay to the creditor an equal amount of money plus interest, if stipulated. It is true that private respondents failed to fulfill their promise to return petitioner’s money plus interest at the end of one month. However, mere non-compliance of a promise to perform a thing does not constitute deceit because it is hard to determine and infer a priori the criminal intent to the person promising. Deceit should be proved and established by acts distinct from and independent of the non-compliance of the promise. (Tanzo v Drilon G.R. No. 106671 March 30, 2000)

Bouncing Checks Law

The second element involves knowledge on the part of the issuer at the time of the check’s issuance that he did not have sufficient funds. This element prima facie exists with the presence of the first and third elements; however, this presumption can be rebutted. The closure of petitioner’s account was not for insufficiency of funds, it was made to avoid the hefty bank charges for stop payment orders. Said evidence contradicts the prima facie presumption of knowledge on the part of the issuer. Furthermore, Section 23 of PD 957 provides a buyer the right to suspend payment until such time that the developer fulfilled its obligations to the buyer. The exercise of this statutory right is a valid defense against the alleged violations of BP 22. (Sycip v CA G.R. No. 125059 March 17, 2000)

The mere act of issuing a worthless check is malum prohibitum. We have repeatedly held that BP 22 applies even in cases where dishonored checks are issued merely in the form of a guarantee. (Dichaves v Apalit AM No. MTJ 00-1274 June 8, 2000) It is not a defense that they were not issued for value or consideration. The gravamen of the offense punished under the Bouncing Checks Law is the act of making or issuing a worthless check that is dishonored upon its presentment for payment. (Cueme v People G.R. No. 133325 June 30, 2000)

Robbery

There is no need to prove the exact amount taken since it is not one of the elements of the crime of robbery. What is material is that there be a proof of the unlawful taking, regardless of the amount inside the beltbag. (People v Aquino G.R. No. 129288 March 30, 2000)

Highway Robbery

Art. 306 of the RPC which requires that the crime be committed by at least four persons has been repealed by P.D. No. 532, the Anti-Piracy and Anti-Highway robbery Law of 1974, wherein the number of offenders is no longer an essential element of the crime of highway robbery. (People v Agomo-o G.R. No. 131829 June 23, 2000)

Carnapping

As an element common to theft, robbery and carnapping, unlawful taking. A felonious taking may be defined as the act of depriving another of the possession and dominion of movable property without his privity and consent and without animus revertendi. An unlawful taking takes place when the owner or juridical possessor does not give his consent to the taking; or, if the consent was given, it was vitiated. Hence, a motor vehicle is said to have been carnapped when it has been taken, with intent to gain, without the owner’s consent, whether the taking was done with or without violence or intimidation of persons or with or without the use of force upon things. Without the anti-carnapping law, such unlawful taking of a motor vehicle would fall within the purview of either theft or robbery. (People v Tan G.R. No. 135904 January 21, 2000)

Physical Injuries

Where the assailants intended to kill one person but injured another who intefered but was not previously attacked, the crime committed is physical injuries only and not attempted homicide. (People v Francisco and Mansamad G.R. No. 130490 June 19, 2000)

Homicide vis-à-vis Murder

Where there were multiple killings, the accused cannot be convicted of murder when the first killing was preceded by an argument and was not planned. However, as to the rest of the victims who were asleep when killed, the crime committed was murder attended by treachery. (People v Marquita 119958 March 1, 2000)

Forcible Abduction

To constitute abduction, the taking away of a woman against her will must be proven to have been effected with unchaste designs. It is incumbent upon the prosecution to prove that the three accused were actuated by lewd design. While it is enough that at least one of the accused entertained lewd design in order to convict all of them of forcible abduction, such lewd intent, however, must be known to all accused who cooperated in the commission of the felony otherwise, the others are guilty only of grave coercion. (People v De Lara G.R. No. 124703 June 27, 2000)

Acts of Lasciviousness

His fondling of the child’s vagina, exhibition of his penis and the pumping motion are sufficient evidence that the accused acted with lewd designs. (Dulla v CA G.R. No. 123164 February 18, 2000)

Oral Defamation

In Reyes vs. People, we ruled that the expression "putang ina mo" is a common enough utterance in the dialect that is often employed, not really to slander but rather to express anger or displeasure. In fact, more often, it is just an expletive that punctuates one's expression of profanity. (Pader v People G.R. No. 139157 February 8, 2000)

Entrapment vs Planting of Evidence

In entrapment, the criminal intent to commit the offense charged originates in the mind of the accused and the law enforcement officials merely facilitate the commission of the offense, the accused cannot justify his conduct. (Huggland v Lantin AM No. MTJ 98-1153 February 29, 2000)

Reckless Imprudence resulting in Physical Injuries

Negligence is the immediate and proximate cause of the collision where the accused had no opportunity to avoid the collision due to causes of his own making. (Austria v CA G.R. No. 133323 March 9, 2000)

Rape

Being a mentally retarded woman, twenty-six years of age, Analyn is in the same class as a woman deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious when she was raped by accused-appellant. Proof of force and intimidation is not required if the victim is "deprived of reason" or suffering from mental abnormality or deficiency since the same deprives the victim of the natural instinct to resist a bestial assault on her chastity and womanhood. (People v Arlee G.R. No. 113518 January 25, 2000)

The deprivation of reason contemplated by law does not need to be complete. Mental abnormality or deficiency is enough. Being feeble-minded, complainant is incapable of thinking and reasoning like any normal human being and not being able to think and reason, she really has no will that is free and voluntary of her own; hers is a defective will, which is incapable of freely and voluntarily giving such consent so necessary and essential in lifting coitus from the place of criminality. (People v Cabingas G.R. No. 79679 March 28, 2000)

The complete penetration of the penis into the female organ is not necessary. The mere introduction of the penis into the aperture of the female organ, thereby touching the labia of the pudendum, already consummates the crime of rape. Since the labia is the outer lip of the genital organ, accused-appellant's act of repeatedly placing his organ in the "hole" of Crisselle's vagina was rape. (People v Balgos G.R. No. 126115 January 26, 2000)

The length of time during which accused was on top of the victim is only a minor detail which cannot detract from the fact of rape. It could simply mean that due to the resistance of the victim, it took a long time before accused-appellant succeeded in consummating his crime. (People v Cortes G.R. No. 129693 January 24, 2000)

The penalty of death cannot be imposed upon accused for the two counts of rape committed against his daughter because the two (2) informations filed against him failed to state his relationship with the complainant as well as the latter’s age. These attendant circumstances are in the nature of special qualifying circumstances. They cannot be considered as such unless so alleged in the information even if proved. Failure to allege the age of the victim and her relationship to offender in an information for rape is a bar to the imposition of death penalty since age and relationship in this particular form of rape is qualifying and not merely aggravating. (People v Pailanco G.R. No. 130986 January 20, 2000)

The absence of blood does not negate the commission of the crime. It is immaterial that no blood was present. Virginity is not an element of rape. (People v Tanail G.R. No. 125279 January 28, 2000)

Assuming for argument's sake that accused-appellant and private complainant were sweethearts, rape was nevertheless committed because accused-appellant had sex with the victim by force and against her will. The mere assertion of an “adulterous love relationship' would not necessarily rule out the use of force to consummate the crime. (People v Cepeda G.R. No. 124832 February 1, 2000)

Those who commit rape are no respecter of time and place. Among couples with big families who live in cramped quarters, the presence of other members of the family is not necessarily a deterrent to the commission of this crime. In this case, it is not impossible

for the rape to have taken place inside a small house with no partition and with five occupants therein. (People v Sancha G.R. No. 131818-19 February 3, 2000)

It is not necessary that the force or intimidation employed be so great or of such character as could not be resisted because all that is required is that it be sufficient to consummate the purpose that the accused had in mind. Failure of the victim to shout for help does not negate rape. The intimidation of the victim may be so overpowering as to prevent the victim from making an outcry. Nor is there any standard mode of behavior which can be set for people confronted with a frightening event. (People v Barcelona G.R. No. 125341 February 9, 2000)

The presence or absence of spermatozoa is immaterial in a prosecution for rape. The important consideration in rape cases is not the emission of semen but the unlawful penetration of the female genitalia by the male organ. (People v Bato G.R. No. 134939 February 16, 2000)

Although the victim is in a virgin state the redness in the sex organ, which was caused by the forcible entry of a hard blunt object, such as an erect male sex organ, can still be considered rape. (People v Lomerio G.R. No. 129074 February 28, 2000)

There was no force, violence or intimidation where it cannot be believed that the accused held the victim at knifepoint the whole time. Neither could it be plausible for the accused to lead Morla through the streets with a knife pointed at her neck, seemingly indifferent to the fact that someone could have immediately seen that the accused meant to do harm. Such facts only prove that the coital act was consensual. (People v San Juan G.R. No. 130969 February 29, 2000)

A broken hymen or laceration of any part of the female genitalia is not a prerequisite for a rape conviction. Moreover, later cases have overruled the old Erinia decision and the crime of frustrated rape is non-existent in our criminal law. (People v Sampior G.R. No. 117691 March 1, 2000)

In rape committed by a father against his own daughter, the former’s moral ascendancy and influence over the latter substitutes for violence and intimidation. (People v Bayona G.R. No. 133343-44 March 2, 2000)

The duration of the alleged rape – three hours – tends to show that they engaged in consensual sex. The test of sufficiency of force or intimidation in rape is whether it produces a reasonable fear in the victim that if she resists or does not give in to the sexual demands the threat would be carried out. Assuming that a knife was really poked at her side, it could not have been held by the accused for the entire three-hour period that she was being raped. The victim could have done something to fight off the assault on her virtue. (People v San Diego G.R. No. 129297 March 17, 2000)

Mere touching of the external genitalia by the penis capable of consummating the sexual act is sufficient to constitute carnal knowledge, but the act of touching should be understood as inherently part of the entry of the penis into the labias of the female organ and not mere touching alone. Prosecution failed to prove that Primo was able to penetrate Crysthel’s vagina however slight, hence the crime is merely attempted rape. (People v Campuhan G.R. No. 129433 March 30, 2000)

It is not required by law that there be tenacious resistance to a sexual assault. The law does not impose upon the victim the burden of proving resistance. (People v Baltazar G.R. No. 115990 March 31, 2000)

Intimidation may also be moral. Though a man lays no hand on a woman, yet if through an array of physical force, he so overpowers her mind that she does not resist or ceases resistance for fear of a greater harm, the consummated sexual act is recognized in jurisprudence as rape. (People v Abalde G.R. No. 123113 March 31, 2000)

Lack of a lacerated wound does not negate sexual intercourse. A freshly broken hymen is not an essential element of rape. (People v Amigable G.R. No. 133857 March 31, 2000)

The penalty of death cannot be imposed where the victim’s grandmother acknowledged that the accused was just her common-law husband. (People v Lustre G.R. No. 134562 April 6, 2000)

An affidavit of desistance by itself, even when construed as a pardon in so-called "private crimes," is not a ground for the dismissal of the criminal case once the action has been instituted. (People v Alicante G.R. No. 127026-27 May 31, 2000)

The force or violence required in rape cases is relative. When applied, it need not be overpowering or irresistible. It is enough that it has enabled the offended to consummate his purpose and to bring about the desired result. It is not even necessary that he be armed. Intimidation, on the other hand, must be viewed in the light of the victim’s perception and judgment at the time of the commission of the crime and not by any hard or fact rule. (People v Cambi G.R. No. 127131 June 8, 2000)

In rape cases, impotency as a defense must be proven with certainty to overcome the presumption in favor of potency. (People v Austria G.R. No. 123539 June 27, 2000)

Moral character is immaterial in the prosecution and conviction of rape. This Court has ruled that even prostitutes can be victims of rape. (People v Alcartado G.R. No. 132379-82 June 29, 2000)

COMPLEX CRIMES

Robbery with Homicide

Where the taking of the firearm could have been done to prevent the victim from retaliating, the proper sentence should be Homicide and Theft not the complex crime of Robbery with Homicide. (People v Milliam G.R. No. 129071 January 31, 2000)

In the crime of robbery with homicide, the homicide may precede the robbery or may occur afterwards, as what is essential is that there is a direct and intimate connection between the robbery and the killing. This special complex crime is primarily a crime against property and not against persons, homicide being a mere incident of the robbery, the latter being the main purpose and object of the criminal. (People v Legaspi G.R. No. 117802 April 27, 2000)

Robbery with Rape

There is no law providing for additional rape/s or homicide/s should be considered as aggravating circumstance. It is true that the additional rapes would result in an “anomalous situation” where from the standpoint of the gravity of the offense, robbery with one rape would be on the same level as robbery with 2 or more rapes. However, the remedy lies with the legislature. A penal law is liberally construed in favor of the accused and no person should be brought within its terms if he is not clearly made so by the statute. In view of the foregoing, the additional rape committed by accused-appellant should not be considered as an aggravating circumstance. (People v Regala G.R. No. 130508 April 5, 2000)

The failure of the victim to retrieve her belongings does not, under the circumstances, dispute the commission of the crime. When the accused divested her of her valuables, he committed the crime of robbery, since all the elements were present, regardless of the fact that the victim failed to ask for the return of her personal things. (People v Sultan G.R. No. 132470 April 27, 2000)

The complex crime of robbery with rape contemplates a situation where the original intent of the accused was to take, with intent to gain, personal property belonging to another; and rape is committed on the occasion thereof or as an accompanying crime. (People v Tano G.R. No. 133872 May 5, 2000)

Rape with Homicide

Rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman: 1) by using force or intimidation; 2) when the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; 3) when the woman is less than 12 years of age or is demented. And if by reason or on occasion of rape, a homicide is committed, penalty shall be death as stated in RPC as amended by sec 11 of RA 7659. (People v Salonga G.R. No. 128647 March 31, 2000)

The death penalty shall be imposed regardless of the existence of qualifying or generic aggravating circumstances or mitigating circumstances since the law imposes a single indivisible penalty for the commission of the crime of rape with homicide in accordance with Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code. (People v Lagarto G.R. No. 118828/119371 February 29, 2000)

Forcible Abduction with Rape

Where the private complainant never objected or showed resistance when accused-appellant allegedly dragged her forcibly across the pedestrian overpass and brought her to an undisclosed place in Quiapo, such unnatural behavior of the victim before the alleged rape and its aftermath strengthens the belief that no crime did in fact happen as the sexual union between her and the accused-appellant was a reciprocal, albeit indiscreet, act of two lovers. (People v Claudio G.R. No. 133694 February 29, 2000)

The crime of forcible abduction was proved. It was established that the accused took Lazel against her will and with lewd designs. However, the rape was not proven since there was no evidence of entrance or introduction of male organ into the labia of the pudendum. (People v Tayag G.R. No. 132053 March 31, 2000)

While the information sufficiently alleges the forcible taking of complainant, the same fails to allege "lewd designs." When appellant, using a blade, forcibly took away complainant for the purpose of sexually assaulting her, as in fact he did rape her, the rape may then absorb forcible abduction. Hence, the crime committed by appellant is simple rape only. (People v Sabredo G.R. No. 126114 May 11, 2000)

Murder with Less Serious Physical Injuries

The accused is further guilty of the physical injuries inflicted on occasion of the murder because he is responsible for all the consequences of his unlawful or wrongful act although such consequences were different from those which he originally intended. (People v Enguito G.R. No. 128812 February 28, 2000)

Murder with Multiple Frustrated Murders

The instant case does not fall under any of the two (2) mentioned instances wherein a complex crime is committed. The evidence on record shows that the killing of Julius Golocan and the wounding of his wife Flordeliza and their children John Paul and Noemi resulted not from a single act but from several and distinct acts of shooting. Considering the relative positions of the gunmen who surrounded the victims, it was absolutely impossible for the four (4) victims to have been hit by a single bullet. Each act of pulling the trigger of his firearm by each gunman and aiming it at different persons constitute distinct and individual acts which cannot give rise to the complex crime of murder with multiple frustrated murder. (People v Abubu G.R. No. 129072 January 19, 2000)

JUSTIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES

Self-Defense

PEOPLE vs MAGAYAC G.R. No. 126043, April 19, 2000

Facts: Jimmy, the victim and the accused Manuel were in a boat preparing for night fishing when a fight occurred between the two. The altercation was stopped but it was followed by a series of other incidents when the two exchanged blows. The following evening, the accused was seen carrying a long rifle. The victim was warned of the fact but while he was trying to leave, he was shot at the right stomach. The victim, while kneeling on the ground was repeatedly shot at the back until he died. The accused was convicted, but upon appeal, he interposed self-defense and questioned the appreciation of treachery which qualified the crime committed to murder.

Issue/s: Whether the accused should be acquitted on the ground of self-defense.

Held: The invocation of self-defense is an admission of the killing and its authorship. By this admission, the burden of proof shifts to the accused who must establish all elements of the justifying circumstance. In this case, there was no unlawful aggression on the part of the victim. More so will the defense be disregarded when the number of gunshot wounds on Jimmy’s body is taken into account. The nature and number of wounds inflicted disprove the plea of self-defense because they demonstrate determined effort to kill and not just defend himself.

Self-Defense

PEOPLE vs. TEOFISTO COTAS G.R. No. 132043 May 31, 2000

FACTS: The victim, Asuncion and his two daughters were taking a nap inside their house when, without any warning, accused-appellant entered and stabbed Asuncion several times with a file popularly known as "tres cantos." At the time he was stabbed, Asuncion was lying on his stomach with his face down. One of his daughters, was awakened by the commotion and saw accused-appellant stabbing her father. She jumped up and went outside to look for her mother. Asuncion's wife, who was in a neighbor's house, heard her husband exclaim three times "Kuya Jovy, hindi po ako lalaban". She rushed to their house and on the way, she met her daughter who told her of the incident. She then saw accused-appellant coming down the front steps of their house, wiping his knife with his shirt who jumped over the fence and fled. Asuncion was taken to the hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

ISSUE: Whether the accused merely acted in self-defense

HELD: The following elements must be proved by clear and convincing evidence before the circumstance of self-defense may be appreciated: (1) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; and (3) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. Of these requisites, unlawful aggression, i.e., the sudden and unprovoked attack on the person defending himself, is indispensable. Absent such element, as in the case at bar, no claim of self-defense can be successfully interposed.

Even assuming that Asuncion was the aggressor, it is clear that at the time he was killed, the danger to accused-appellant had already ceased. It is a settled rule that when unlawful aggression ceases, the defender has no longer any right to kill or wound the former aggressor, otherwise, retaliation and not self-defense is committed. In this case, accused-appellant stabbed Asuncion seven times and inflicted on him several incised wounds.

Self-Defense

PEOPLE VS. SABDANI G.R. No. 134262, June 28, 2000

Facts: Abdulajid Sabdani saw Norodin Ibrahim standing in front of his (Sabdani's) house. Soon after, Sabdani emerged from his house carrying his .45 caliber gun approaching Ibrahim. Ibrahim ran but stumbled and fell. Sabdani stood over him and shot him. He contends that Ibrahim has a gun and he heard threats against him.

Issue: Was there unlawful aggression sufficient for Sabdani to claim self-defense?

Held: There was no unlawful aggression. This must refer to an attack or a threat to attack, positively showing the intent of the aggressor to cause injury, not merely a threatening attitude. Sabdani merely surmised he had a gun and did not have first hand

proof of such a belief nor did he make any efforts to confirm such a belief. He cannot claim self-defense.

Defense of Property

PEOPLE vs. IGNACIO

G.R. No. 134568 February 10, 2000

Facts: Jessie Lacson, and Edwin Velasco were gathering shells by the seashore. This work h caused them to feel thirsty so they decided to go to the fishpond and get young coconuts. This fishpond is owned by Cleto Cortes, with accused Eulogio Ignacio as the caretaker. Inside the fishpond is a house where appellant sometimes stays. At the fishpond, Jessie got one young coconut. Caretaker Eulogio came out of his house and saw Jessie. Edwin heard Eulogio shout at Jessie to put down the young coconut, which the latter did. Then, Edwin saw Eulogio fire his homemade shotgun at Jessie who was hit on the left portion of the breast. Then, Eulogio cranked his homemade shotgun, aimed it at Edwin but did not fire. Edwin immediately left said place to report the shooting incident to Jessie's parents. Edwin went to the house of Carlito Alcover, their Barangay Tanod and reported the shooting. Then, Barangay Tanods came by and Carlito asked Eulogio to surrender, which he heeded.

For his part, the accused argued that he had acted in defense of property with no intention to kill the victim. Appellant saw them stealing coconuts and crabs stocked inside his house. Ignacio ordered them to stop and when the two did not, appellant, without any intention to kill Jessie and Edwin, fired his gun. He left and informed Kagawad Gil Aristotles about the incident. Afterwards, he reported to Barangay Tanod Saratiel Lachica.

Issue/s: Whether the accused was acting in lawful defense of his property.

Held: There was unlawful killing. In the present case, we find ample evidence that appellant did shoot the victim. He himself admitted doing so, because he believed that the deceased and a companion, Edwin Velasco, had stolen crabs. Allegedly, he saw them carrying a basket and coming out of his house. When he approached, the two ran away. After they failed to heed his call for them to stop, he shot the victim with a homemade shotgun. However, it should be stressed that appellant's conduct cannot be justified as a lawful defense of property rights. For this justifying circumstance to be appreciated, the accused has the burden of proving unlawful aggression on the part of the victim and reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it. In this case, the first requisite was not proven because he was not attacked by the victim. In fact, he did not even see the victim steal the crabs; he merely suspected him of doing so. Furthermore, assuming that unlawful aggression was proven, there was no necessity to shoot because, according to him, the victim was already running away when hit. The victim's companion at the time, Edwin Velasco, positively identified appellant as the killer.

EXEMPTING CIRCUMSTANCES

Temporary insanity

PEOPLE vs. EDGARDO AQUINO G.R. No. 128887 January 20, 2000

FACTS:Roselyn Lampera, was in their house, together with her mother, younger brother, sister when Aquino, who was drunk, arrived, looking for Roselyn’s father. She told appellant that her father was in Olongapo. Unsatisfied, Aquino peeped in their house and then pulled out his knife. He tried to stab Roselyn's younger brother and when he failed to do so, he vented his ire on Roselyn’s mother, stabbing her on the chest and stomach areas. He was later on apprehended and convicted of murder qualified by treachery.

ISSUE/s: Whether the claim of temporary insanity would exempt the accused from criminal liability.

HELD: We are not persuaded by Edgardo's plea of "temporary insanity”. Insanity, under Article 12 of the Revised Penal Code, connotes that the accused must have been deprived completely of reason and freedom of the will at the time of the commission of the crime, or that he must have acted without the least discernment. Mere abnormality of the accused's mental faculties does not exclude imputability.

Statutory Rape; Insanity

People vs. PAMBID G.R. No. 124453, March 15, 2000

Facts: The first rape occurred when accused Joseph Pambid took 6-year-old victim Maricon Grifaldia to his house and raped her at knifepoint. The second rape happened

at his aunt’s house. Due to threats, Maricon had only told her mother about it when she heard that her cousin was nearly raped. Accused entered a plea of insanity.

Issue: Is there merit in the defense of plea of insanity.

Held: The plea of insanity is unacceptable because the accused was not able to conclusively establish that he was completely deprived of reason and he was suffering from schizophrenia or any mental illness when he committed the crime charged. By the totality of his acts, it showed that he was fully conscious of what he was doing.

Insanity

PEOPLE vs. FERNANDO MADARANG

G.R. No. 132319 May 12, 2000

FACTS: The accused made use of a bladed weapon to stab his wife that caused her instantaneous death. At the arraignment, counsel for the accused manifested that his

client was behaving in an abnormal manner while in custody. The Court issued an order for the transfer of the accused to the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) for his psychiatric evaluation. Tests revealed that the accused was suffering from schizophrenia and therefore should be given treatment for his illness. Thereafter, he was released by NCMH and was recommitted to the provincial jail to stand trial. At the resumption of the trial, the accused claimed that he was insane at the time he committed the crime. However, his mother-in-law found no change in his mental state before the perpetration of the crime.

ISSUE: Whether the accused was insane at the time of the commission of the offense.

HELD: No. In the Philippines, the courts have established a more stringent criterion for insanity to be exempting as it is required that there must be a complete deprivation of intelligence in committing the act, i.e., the accused is deprived of reason; he acted without the least discernment because there is a complete absence of the power to discern, or that there is a total deprivation of the will. Mere abnormality of the mental faculties will not exclude imputability. An accused invoking the insanity defense pleads not guilty by reason thereof. He admits committing the crime but claims that he is not guilty because he was insane at the time of its commission. Hence, the accused is tried on the issue of sanity alone and if found to be sane, a judgment of conviction is rendered without any trial on the issue of guilt as he had already admitted committing the crime.

Insanity

PEOPLE vs. ESTRADA

G.R. No. 130487, June 19, 2000

Facts: In the morning of December 27, 1994, at the St. John’s Cathedral, appellant Roberto Esatrada went up beside the Bishop’s chair , turned around, and in full view of the Catholic faithful, sat on the bishop’s chair. Upon resistance of appellant to leave the Bishop’s chair after being summoned by some churchgoers, the latter summoned the Cathedral security guard. The security guard then approached the accused and told him to leave the chair while tapping the latter’s arm with his nightstick. Before the guard could strike again, accused suddenly drew the knife and stabbed the guard several times. He then returned to the chair until he voluntarily surrendered when the police came to the scene of the crime.

However, despite the appellant’s obvious abnormal mental condition, the fact that he was previously admitted to a mental hospital, and despite his continued motion for an evaluation by a psychiatrist, he was arraigned, tried and convicted by the trial court.

Issue: Whether the accused should have been tried as mentally insane at the time of the commission of the crime.

Held: Yes. To ascertain a person’s mental condition at the time of the act, it is permissible to receive evidence of the condition of his mind within a reasonable period before and after the incident. Direct testimony is not required. Neither are specific acts of derangement essential to establish insanity as a defense. Circumstantial evidence, if clear and convincing suffices.

In the case at bar, there is no direct proof that appellant was insane at the time of the killing. It does not nevertheless, discount the probability that appellant was not of unsound mind at that time. In some Philippine cases, the medical and clinical findings of insanity immediately after the commission of the crime served as basis for the acquittal of the accused.

MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES

Passion/obfuscation; Intoxication

PEOPLE vs. EDGARDO AQUINO G.R. No. 128887 January 20, 2000

FACTS:Roselyn Lampera, was in their house, together with her mother, younger brother, sister when Aquino, who was drunk, arrived, looking for Roselyn’s father. She told appellant that her father was in Olongapo. Unsatisfied, Aquino peeped in their house and then pulled out his knife. He tried to stab Roselyn's younger brother and when he failed to do so, he vented his ire on Roselyn’s mother, stabbing her on the chest and stomach areas. He was later on apprehended and convicted of murder qualified by treachery.

ISSUE/s: Whether the accused can claim the mitigating circumstances of passion or obfuscation and the alternative mitigating circumstance of intoxication.

HELD: As to Aquino’s claim of the mitigating circumstance of passion or obfuscation, the same is bereft of merit because his acts did not result from an impulse arising from lawful sentiments but from a spirit of lawlessness.

We disagree with the trial court in appreciating in appellant's favor the mitigating circumstance of intoxication For intoxication to be mitigating, the following conditions must be present: (1) the same is not habitual or is not subsequent to the plan of the commission of a felony; otherwise, it is aggravating if it is habitual and intentional; and (2) the consumption of alcoholic drinks was in such quantity as to blur the accused's reason and deprive him of a certain degree of control. In this case, Edgardo was unable to prove both requisi