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Manaban vs.

CA and People of the Philippines

Ramonito Manaban, petitioner vs.
Court of Appeals and People of the Philippines, respondent.
G.R. No. 150723
July 11, 2006
At around 1:25 oclock in the morning of October 11, 1996, the victim, Joselito Bautista, who was a
member of the UP Police Force, took his daughter, Frinzi, who complained of difficulty in breathing, to the
UP Health Center. The doctors gave him prescriptions and so he went to BPI Kalayaan to withdraw some
money from its Automated Teller Machine (ATM). When Bautista could not withdraw money, he started
kicking and pounding the machine which caught the attention of herein petitioner. Bautista said that the
machine captured his card and that he did not get the money he badly needed. Manaban said that the
PIN entered was incorrect that is why the card was captured. Angered by what Manaban said, Bautista
then continued kicking and pounding the machine. The former advised the latter to call the customer
service which Bautista did but still kicked the machine. Failing to pacify the victim, petitioner fired a
warning shot, and according to him fired the second one hitting, and eventually, killing Bautista. Manaban
said that he feared that Bautista would pull his gun first and might kill him so he fired his gun and shot
The trial court found the petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Homicide. This decision
was later affirmed by the Court of Appeals with modification respect only to the award of loss of earning
This case is then submitted before this court for review.
1. Whether or not the justifying circumstance of self-defense is applicable.
2. Whether or not the mitigating circumstances of voluntary surrender and obfuscation are present.
1. Under paragraph 1, Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code, the three requisites to prove self-defense as
a justifying circumstance which may exempt an accused from criminal liability are: (1) unlawful aggression
on the part of the victim; (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel the
aggression; and (3) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the accused or the person defending
himself. Unlawful aggression is an actual physical assault or at least a threat to attack or inflict physical
injury upon a person. A mere threatening or intimidating attitude is not considered unlawful aggression,
unless the threat is offensive and menacing, manifestly showing the wrongful intent to cause injury. There
must be an actual, sudden, unexpected attack or imminent danger thereof, which puts the defendants life
in real peril. In this case, there was no unlawful aggression on the part of the victim. The allegation of
Manaban that Bautista was about to draw his gun when he turned his back at Manaban is mere
speculation. Aggression presupposes that the person attacked must face a real threat to his life and the
peril sought to be avoided is imminent and actual, not imaginary. Absent such actual or imminent peril to
ones life or limb, there is nothing to repel and there is no justification for taking the life or inflicting injuries
on another.
2. It is undisputed that Manaban called the police to report the shooting incident. When the police arrived,
Manaban surrendered his service firearm and voluntarily went with the police to the police station for
investigation. Thus, Manaban is entitled to the benefit of the mitigating circumstance of voluntary

On obfuscation, we find that the facts of the case do not entitle Manaban to such mitigating circumstance.
The threat was only in the mind of Manaban and is mere speculation which is not sufficient to produce
obfuscation which is mitigating.41 Besides, the threat or danger was not grave or serious considering that
Manaban had the advantage over Bautista because Manaban was already pointing his firearm at Bautista
when the latter turned his back. The defense failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence the
cause that allegedly produced obfuscation.
People vs. Alconga
Post under case digests, Criminal Law at Saturday, February 25, 2012 Posted by Schizophrenic Mind
Facts: On May 27, deceased Silverio Barion, the banker of the card game, was playing black jack against
Maria De Raposo. De Raposo and Alconga were partners in the game, they had one money. Alconga was
seated behind Barion and he gave signs to De Raposo. Barion, who was suffering losses in the game,
found this out and he expressed his anger at Alconga. The two almost fought outright this was stopped.

The two met again on May 29. when Alconga was doing his job as a home guard. While the said accused
was seated on a bench in the guardhouse, Barion came along and said Coroy, this is your breakfast
followed by a swing of his pingahan, a bamboo stick. Alconga avoided the blow by falling to the ground
under the bench with the intention to crawl out of the guardhouse. A second blow was given by Barion but
failed to hit the accused, hitting the bench instead. Alconga managed to go out of the guardhouse by
crawling on his abdomen. While Barion was about to deliver the 3rd blow, Alconga fired at him with his
revolver, causing him to stagger and hit the ground. The deceased stood up, drew forth his dagger and
directed a blow to the accused who was able to parry the attack using his bolo. A hand to handfight
ensued. The deceased, looking already beaten and having sustained several wounds ran away. He was
followed by the accused and was overtaken after 200 meters.

A second fight took place and the deceased received a mortal bolo blow, the one which slasehde the
cranium. The deceased fell face downward besides many other blows delivered. Alconga surrendered.

Issue: Whether or not self-defense can be used as a defense by Alconga

Held: No. Self-defense cannot be sustained. Alconga guilty of Homicide

The deceased ran and fled w/o having to inflicted so much a scratch to Alconga, but after, upon the other
hand, having been wounded with one revolver shot and several bolo slashes the right of Alconga to inflict
injury upon him has ceased absolutely/ Alconga had no right to pursue, no right to kill or injure. He could
have only attacked if there was reason to believe that he is still not safe. In the case at bar, it is apparent
that it is Alconga who is the superior fighter and his safety was already secured after the first fight ended.
There was no more reason for him to further chase Barion. The second fight will be treated differently and
independently. Under the first fight, self-defense would have been valid, but that is not the case in the

second fight. In the second fight, there was illegal aggression on the part of Alconga and as a result, he is
found guilty of Homicide with no mitigating circumstance (MC) of Provocation

Note Provocation in order to be an MC must be sufficient and immediately preceding the act. It should
be proportionate to the act committed and adequate to stir one to its commission

People vs. Genosa, G.R. No. 135981. January 15, 2004

Case Digest / Digested Case Version
A Landmark Case decided by the Supreme Court of the Philippines

Story: The Battered Woman Syndrome

The wife had suffered maltreatment from her husband for over eight years. She was 8 months pregnant
when, one evening, her husband came home drunk and started to batter her. Shouting that his wife
"might as well be killed so there will be nobody to nag" him, he dragged her towards a drawer where he
kept a gun, but was not able to open the drawer because it was locked. So he got out a cutter from his
wallet, but dropped it. She was able to hit his arm with a pipe and escape into another room. The wife,
thinking of all the suffering that her husband had been inflicting on her, and thinking that he might really
kill her and her unborn child, distorted the drawer and got the gun. She shot her husband, who was by

then asleep on the bed. She was tried and convicted for parricide, which is punishable by reclusion
perpetua (20 years and 1 day to 40 years) to death. On appeal, she alleged "battered woman syndrome"
as a form of self-defense. (For Full Case, just click here.


That Marivic Genosa, the Appellant on the 15November1995, attacked and wounded his husband, which
ultimately led to his death. According to the appellant she did not provoke her husband when she got
home that night it was her husband who began the provocation. The Appellant said she was frightened
that her husband would hurt her and she wanted to make sure she would deliver her baby safely. In fact,
The Appelant had to be admitted later at the Rizal Medical Centre as she was suffering from eclampsia
and hypertension, and the baby was born prematurely on December 1, 1995.
The Appellant testified that during her marriage she had tried to leave her husband at least five (5) times,
but that Ben would always follow her and they would reconcile. The Apellant said that the reason why Ben
was violent and abusive towards her that night was because 'he was crazy about his recent girlfriend,
Lulu Rubillos.
The Appellant after being interviewed by specialists, has been shown to be suffering from Battered
Woman Syndrome.
The appellant with a plea of self defense admitted the killing of her husband, she was then found guilty of
Parricide, with the aggravating circumstance of treachery, for the husband was attacked while asleep.
Can Marivic Genosa be granted the Justifying circumstance of Self-defense, and can she be held
liable for the aggravating circumstance of treachery?
No, Since self- defense since the existence of Battered woman syndrome, which the appellant has been
shown to be suffering in the relationship does not in itself establish the legal right of the woman to kill her
abusive partner. Evidence must still be considered in the context of self-defense.
In the present case, however, according to the testimony of the appellant there was a sufficient time
interval between the unlawful aggression of the husband and her fatal attack upon him. She had already
been able to withdraw from his violent behavior and escape to their children's bedroom. During that time,
he apparently ceased his attack and went to bed. The reality or even the imminence of the danger he
posed had ended altogether. He was no longer in a position that presented an actual threat on her life or
Without continuous aggression there can be no self-defense. And absence of aggression does not
warrant complete or incomplete self-defense.
No, There is treachery when one commits any of the crimes against persons by employing means,
methods or forms in the execution thereof without risk to oneself arising from the defense that the
offended party might make.
The circumstances must be shown as indubitably as the killing itself; they cannot be deduced from mere

inferences, or conjectures, which have no place in the appreciation of evidence. Besides, equally
axiomatic is the rule that when a killing is preceded by an argument or a quarrel, treachery cannot be
appreciated as a qualifying circumstance, because the deceased may be said to have been forewarned
and to have anticipated aggression from the assailant.
In the present case, however it was not conclusively shown, that the appellant intentionally chose a
specific means of successfully attacking her husband without any risk to herself from any retaliatory act
that he might make. To the contrary, it appears that the thought of using the gun occurred to her only at
about the same moment when she decided to kill her spouse. In the absence of any convincing proof that
she consciously and deliberately employed the method by which she committed the crime in order to
ensure its execution, the doubt should be resolved in her favor.
The conviction of Appellant Marivic Genosa for parricide is hereby AFFIRMED. However, there being two
(2) mitigating circumstances and no aggravating circumstance attending her commission of the offense,
her penalty is REDUCED to six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum; to 14 years, 8
months and 1 day of reclusion temporal as maximum.
When can BWS (Battered Woman Syndrome) as self defense be appreciated?
Where the brutalized person is already suffering from BWS, further evidence of actual physical assault at
the time of the killing is not required. Incidents of domestic battery usually have a predictable pattern. To
require the battered person to await an obvious, deadly attack before she can defend her life "would
amount to sentencing her to 'murder by installment.' Still, impending danger (based on the conduct of the
victim in previous battering episodes) prior to the defendant's use of deadly force must be
shown. Threatening behavior or communication can satisfy the required imminence of danger.
Considering such circumstances and the existence of BWS, self-defense may be appreciated.

PEOPLE vs. GENOSA, G.R. No. 135981, January 15 2004.

People of the Philippines vs. Marivic Genosa
FACTS: This case stemmed from the killing of Ben Genosa, by his wife Marivic Genosa, appellant herein.
During their first year of marriage, Marivic and Ben lived happily but apparently thereafter, Ben changed
and the couple would always quarrel and sometimes their quarrels became violent. Appellant testified that
every time her husband came home drunk, he would provoke her and sometimes beat her. Whenever
beaten by her husband, she consulted medical doctors who testified during the trial. On the night of the
killing, appellant and the victim were quarreled and the victim beat the appellant. However, appellant was
able to run to another room. Appellant admitted having killed the victim with the use of a gun. The
information for parricide against appellant, however, alleged that the cause of death of the victim was by
beating through the use of a lead pipe. Appellant invoked self defense and defense of her unborn child.
After trial, the Regional Trial Court found appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
parricide with an aggravating circumstance of treachery and imposed the penalty of death.

On automatic review before the Supreme Court, appellant filed an URGENT OMNIBUS MOTION praying
that the Honorable Court allow (1) the exhumation of Ben Genosa and the re-examination of the cause of
his death; (2) the examination of Marivic Genosa by qualified psychologists and psychiatrists to determine
her state of mind at the time she killed her husband; and finally, (3) the inclusion of the said experts
reports in the records of the case for purposes of the automatic review or, in the alternative, a partial reopening of the case a quo to take the testimony of said psychologists and psychiatrists. The Supreme
Court partly granted the URGENT OMNIBUS MOTION of the appellant. It remanded the case to the trial
court for reception of expert psychological and/or psychiatric opinion on the battered woman syndrome
plea. Testimonies of two expert witnesses on the battered woman syndrome, Dra. Dayan and Dr.
Pajarillo, were presented and admitted by the trial court and subsequently submitted to the Supreme
Court as part of the records.
1. Whether or not appellant herein can validly invoke the battered woman syndrome as constituting self
2. Whether or not treachery attended the killing of Ben Genosa.
Ruling: 1. The Court ruled in the negative as appellant failed to prove that she is afflicted with the
battered woman syndrome.
A battered woman has been defined as a woman who is repeatedly subjected to any forceful physical or
psychological behavior by a man in order to coerce her to do something he wants her to do without
concern for her rights. Battered women include wives or women in any form of intimate relationship with
men. Furthermore, in order to be classified as a battered woman, the couple must go through the
battering cycle at least twice. Any woman may find herself in an abusive relationship with a man once. If it
occurs a second time, and she remains in the situation, she is defined as a battered woman.
More graphically, the battered woman syndrome is characterized by the so-called cycle of violence,
which has three phases: (1) the tension-building phase; (2) the acute battering incident; and (3) the
tranquil, loving (or, at least, nonviolent) phase.
The Court, however, is not discounting the possibility of self-defense arising from the battered woman
syndrome. First, each of the phases of the cycle of violence must be proven to have characterized at least
two battering episodes between the appellant and her intimate partner. Second, the final acute battering
episode preceding the killing of the batterer must have produced in the battered persons mind an actual
fear of an imminent harm from her batterer and an honest belief that she needed to use force in order to
save her life. Third, at the time of the killing, the batterer must have posed probable -- not necessarily
immediate and actual -- grave harm to the accused, based on the history of violence perpetrated by the
former against the latter. Taken altogether, these circumstances could satisfy the requisites of selfdefense. Under the existing facts of the present case, however, not all of these elements were duly
The defense fell short of proving all three phases of the cycle of violence supposedly characterizing the
relationship of Ben and Marivic Genosa. No doubt there were acute battering incidents but appellant
failed to prove that in at least another battering episode in the past, she had gone through a similar
pattern. Neither did appellant proffer sufficient evidence in regard to the third phase of the cycle.
In any event, the existence of the syndrome in a relationship does not in itself establish the legal right of
the woman to kill her abusive partner. Evidence must still be considered in the context of self-defense.

Settled in our jurisprudence, is the rule that the one who resorts to self-defense must face a real threat on
ones life; and the peril sought to be avoided must be imminent and actual, not merely imaginary. Thus,
the Revised Penal Code provides that the following requisites of self-defense must concur: (1) Unlawful
aggression; (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.
Unlawful aggression is the most essential element of self-defense. It presupposes actual, sudden and
unexpected attack -- or an imminent danger thereof -- on the life or safety of a person. In the present
case, however, according to the testimony of Marivic herself, there was a sufficient time interval between
the unlawful aggression of Ben and her fatal attack upon him. She had already been able to withdraw
from his violent behavior and escape to their childrens bedroom. During that time, he apparently ceased
his attack and went to bed. The reality or even the imminence of the danger he posed had ended
altogether. He was no longer in a position that presented an actual threat on her life or safety.
The mitigating factors of psychological paralysis and passion and obfuscation were, however, taken in
favor of appellant. It should be clarified that these two circumstances -- psychological paralysis as well as
passion and obfuscation -- did not arise from the same set of facts.
The first circumstance arose from the cyclical nature and the severity of the battery inflicted by the
batterer-spouse upon appellant. That is, the repeated beatings over a period of time resulted in her
psychological paralysis, which was analogous to an illness diminishing the exercise of her will power
without depriving her of consciousness of her acts.
As to the extenuating circumstance of having acted upon an impulse so powerful as to have naturally
produced passion and obfuscation, it has been held that this state of mind is present when a crime is
committed as a result of an uncontrollable burst of passion provoked by prior unjust or improper acts or by
a legitimate stimulus so powerful as to overcome reason. To appreciate this circumstance, the following
requisites should concur: (1) there is an act, both unlawful and sufficient to produce such a condition of
mind; and (2) this act is not far removed from the commission of the crime by a considerable length of
time, during which the accused might recover her normal equanimity.
2. NO. Because of the gravity of the resulting offense, treachery must be proved as conclusively as the
killing itself. Besides, equally axiomatic is the rule that when a killing is preceded by an argument or a
quarrel, treachery cannot be appreciated as a qualifying circumstance, because the deceased may be
said to have been forewarned and to have anticipated aggression from the assailant. Moreover, in order
to appreciate alevosia, the method of assault adopted by the aggressor must have been consciously and
deliberately chosen for the specific purpose of accomplishing the unlawful act without risk from any
defense that might be put up by the party attacked.
The appellant acted upon an impulse so powerful as to have naturally produced passion or obfuscation.
The acute battering she suffered that fatal night in the hands of her batterer-spouse, in spite of the fact
that she was eight (8) months pregnant with their child, overwhelmed her and put her in the aforesaid
emotional and mental state, which overcame her reason and impelled her to vindicate her life and that of
her unborn child.
The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction of appellant for parricide. However, considering the presence
of two (2) mitigating circumstances and without any aggravating circumstance, the penalty is reduced to
six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum; to 14 years 8 months and 1 day of reclusion
temporal as maximum. Inasmuch as appellant has been detained for more than the minimum penalty

hereby imposed upon her, the director of the Bureau of Corrections may immediately RELEASE her from
custody upon due determination that she is eligible for parole, unless she is being held for some other
lawful cause.

NOTE: After this case was decided by the Supreme Court, R.A. 9262, otherwise known as Anti-Violence
Against Women and their Children Act of 2004 was enacted. Sec. 26 of said law provides that "xxx.
Victim-survivors who are found by the courts to be suffering from battered women syndrome do not incur
any criminal and civil liability nothwithstanding the absence of any of the elements for justifying
circumstances of self-defense under the Revised Penal Code.xxx"

2007This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari seeking the reversal of the
Resolution dated January 31, 2001 and the CAResolution dated April 14, 2003 which denied
s motion for reconsideration.FACTS:On August 1, 1993 around midnight, PO1 Francisco Chopchopen
was walking towards Upper Pinget Baguio City whenhe was met by taxi cab driver, Edwin Razon. Razon
told Chopchopen that he was held up by three men at DreamlandSubdivision. When Chopchopen asked
Razon if he stabbed Benedict Gonzalo, 23 years old and a polio victim, he answered noand when
questioned by SPO2 Bumangil, he was held up by two men and he stabbed Gonzalo in selfdefense. Razon broughtout a fan knife and told Bumangil that it was the knife he used to stab Gonzalo. A
search was conducted on the taxi cab acolonial knife with bloodstains was found under a newspaper near
the steering wheel.An autopsy conducted on the body of the victim showed that he sustained 3 stab
wounds, wound on the abdomenkilled Gonzalo, as it penetrated the small intestines, pancreas and the
abdominal aorta, causing massive hemorrhage and lossof blood. On trial, the RTC convicted him of
homicide, it was found out that while there was unlawful aggression by Gonzalo
who poked a knife on Razons neck, such aggression ceased when Razon was able to grab t
he knife from Gonzalo and freed his
right hand from the hold of Gonzalos two companions who stepped out of the taxicab followed by Gonzalo. Razon could had
have started the engine and just left the place. But he did not. He is further ordered to pay the heirs
of Gonzalo, Jr. theamount of P12,770.00 by way of actual damages; P50,000.00 by way of moral
damages; and P10,000.00 by way of attorney'sfees.On appeal, the CA required him, through his counsel
Atty. Rigoberto Gallardo to file an appellant's brief. Two motionsfor extension of time were filed by Atty.

Instead of filing the brief, Atty. Gallardo filed a Motion to Withdraw asCounsel for Razon. CA then
directed Razon to cause the entry of appearance of a new counsel or manifest whetherhe wanted the
court to appoint a counsel de oficio to defend him, since no compliance has been filed by Razon his right
to berepresented by counsel has been waived; but on July 25, 2001, Razon filed with the CA a Motion

for Reconsideration whichwas later on denied by the CA; hence, this appeal.ISSUES/RULING:1. Whether
the CA was correct in dismissing petitioner's appeal for failure to file appellant's brief. NO, the CA gave
Razonsufficient opportunity to file his appellant's brief. Instead of complying, however, he chose to ignore
the many directives ofthe CA and puts the blame on his former counsel Atty. Gallardo, who was allegedly
guilty of gross negligence. Even if theCourt were to admit that Atty. Gallardo was negligent, the rule is that
negligence of counsel binds the client except when thenegligence of said counsel is so gross, reckless
and inexcusable that the client is deprived of his day in court.

No suchexcepting circumstance can be said to be present in this case because as properly observed by
the appellate court, Razonhimself was guilty of negligence. While appeal is an essential part of our
judicial system, a party must strictly comply with therequisites laid down by the Rules of Court on appeals,
mindful of the fact that an appeal is purely a statutory right. Proceduralrules are designed to facilitate the
adjudication of cases. Both courts and litigants are therefore enjoined to abide strictly bythe
rules.2. Whether petitioner acted in self-defense in killing Gonzalo. NO. It is settled that the moment the
first aggressor runs away,unlawful aggression on the part of the first aggressor ceases to exist; and when
unlawful aggression ceases, the defender nolonger has any right to kill or wound the former aggressor;
otherwise, retaliation and not self-defense iscommitted.

Retaliation is not the same as self-defense. In retaliation, the aggression by the injured party already
ceasedwhen the accused attacked him, while in self-defense the aggression still existed when the
aggressor was injured by theaccused.As to the damages certain modifications were made. RTC failed to
award the heirs of Gonzalo, P50,000.00 as civilindemnity for his death. Civil indemnity is automatically
imposed upon the accused without need of proof other than the factof commission of murder or
homicide. Actual damages is replaced by temperate damages in the amount ofP25,000.00. Inthis case,
Gonzalo's heirs were only able to present receipts amounting to P4,925.00. This is consistent with the
ruling of theCourt in
People v. Werba
, citing
People v. Villanueva
which held that in instances where actual expenses amounting to lessthan P25,000.00 are proved during
the trial, the award of temperate damages ofP25,000.00 is justified in lieu of the actualdamages of a
lesser amount. As to moral damages, the RTC correctly awarded the amount of P50,000.00, as the
prosecutionwas able to show that the father of the victim, Benedicto Gonzalo, Sr., suffered mental and
emotional anguish due to theuntimely death of his son. Moral damages may be awarded in favor of the
heirs of a victim upon
sufficientproof of mental anguish, serious anxiety, wounded feelings and similar injury. RTC was correct in
awarding P10,000.00 asattorney's fees to the heirs of the victim. As provided for in Art. 2208 (11) of the
Civil Code, attorney's fees may be awardedwhere the court deems it just and equitable that attorney's
fees and expenses of litigation should be recovered.

The People of the Philippines,

plaintiff-appellee vs Nicolas Jaurigue and Avelina Jaurigue,

defendants. Avelina Jaurigue, appellant.
Nicolas Jaurigue and Avelina Jaurigue were prosecuted in the Court of First Instance of Tayabas, for the
crime of murder, of which Nicolas Jaurigue was acquitted, but defendant Avelina Jaurigue was found
guilty of homicide and sentenced to an indeterminate penalty ranging from seven years, four months and
one day of prision mayorto thirteen years, nine months and eleven days of reclusion temporal, with the
accessory penalties provided by law, to indemnify the heirs of the deceased, Amando Capina, in the sum
of P2,000, and to pay one-half of the costs. She was also credited with one-half of the period of
preventive imprisonment suffered by her.From said judgment of conviction, defendant Avelina Jaurigue
appealed to the Court of Appeals for Southern Luzon. On September 20, 1942, at around 8oclock in the
evening, Nicolas Jaurigue went to the chapel of the Seventh Day Adventists o attend religious services.
Avelina Jaurigue entered the chapel shortly after the arrival of her father, also for the purpose of attending
religious services,Upon observing the presence of Avelina Jaurigue, Amado Capina went to the bench on
which Avelina was sitting and sat by her right side, and, without saying a word, Amado, with the greatest
of impudence, placed his hand on the upper part of her right thigh.Avelina Jaurigue, conscious of her
personal dignity and honor, pulled out with her right hand the fan knife which she had in a pocket of her
dress, with the intention of punishing Amado's offending hand. Amado seized Avelina's right hand, but she
quickly grabbed theknife with her left hand and stabbed Amado once at the base of the left side of the
neck, inflicting upon him a wound about 4 1/2 inches deep, which was necessarily mortal.Fearing that
Amado's relatives might retaliate, barrio lieutenant Lozada advised Nicolas Jaurigue and herein
defendant and appellant to go home immediately, to close their doors and windows and not to admit
anybody into the house, unless accompanied by him.Then three policemen arrived in their house, at
about 10 o'clock that night, and questioned them about the incident, defendant and appellant immediately
surrendered the knife marked as Exhibit B, and informed said policemen briefly of what had actually
ISSUES: Whether or not the lower court erred in (1) not holding said appellant had acted in the legitimate
defense of her honor, (2) in not finding in her favor additional mitigating circumstances, and (3) in holding
that the commission of the alleged offense attended byaggravating circumstance.
HELD: In the mind of the court, there is not the least doubt that, in stabbing to death the deceased Amado
Capina, in the manner and form and under the circumstances above indicated, the defendant and
appellant committed the crime of homicide, with no aggravating circumstance whatsoever, but with at
least three mitigating circumstances ofa qualified character to be considered in her favor.Said chapel
where the incident took place was lighted with electric lights and there were several people inside; under
the circumstances, there was and there could be no possibility of her being raped. The means employed
by her in the defense of her honor was evidently excessive; and under the facts and circumstances of the
case, she cannotbe legally declared completely exempt from criminal liability

AUG 26, 2009
Criminal Law- People vs. Oriente

Case of People of the R.P. vs. Oriente
G.R.No. 155094 30January2007
This case is about Manuel Orientes appeal of his conviction for the crime of homicide. The appellant w/
other persons, attacked and assaulted Romulo Vallo, hitting him with a lead pipe on different parts of the
body, thereby inflicting upon him serious and mortal wounds which were the direct and immediate cause
of his death (as confirmed by the medico- legal). In the case there was one witness for the prosecution;
Arnel Tanael.
When the case was tried at the C.A. the court (C.A.) found that the R.T.C erred in finding two mitigating
circumstances were present, namely, lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong and sufficient provocation
or threat on the part of the offended party, so the court modified the penalty imposed by the R.T.C.
[in this particular case there are a number of issues, but the most compelling is the 2nd and 4th issues]

- No. Since when self-defense is invoked, the burden of evidence shifts to the accused to show that the
killing is legally justified. It must be shown by clear and convincing evidence. The appellant cannot rely on
the weakness of the evidence of the prosecution.
- All three requirements for self- defense must concur; but unlawful aggression is condition sine qua non.
- The fact that the deceased was not able to make use of his gun after being hit in the forehead by the
weapon of the appellant as alleged by the defense makes their claim of self-defense unusual
- Injuries sustained by the deceased were extensive
- Importantly, the appellant failed to establish the existence of the gun, that was alleged to have
constituted the unlawful aggression
- Modification of the penalties was based on the presence of mitigating or aggravating circumstances.
- The claim of lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong cannot be appreciated because the acts
employed by the accused were reasonably sufficient to produce and did actually produce the death of the
- Provocation in this case cannot be appreciated as well since provocation is deemed sufficient if it is

adequate to excite a person to commit the wrong, w/c must be proportionate in gravity
- The fact that a heated or intense argument preceded the incident is not by itself the sufficient
provocation on the part of the offended party as contemplated by law. Also, appellant failed to establish by
competent evidence that the deceased had a gun and used it to threaten petitioner.
C.A. erred in imposing 12 years and one day of reclusion temporal as the maximum term of the
indeterminate sentence. In the computation of the maximum term, the law prescribes that the attending
circumstances should be considered. There being no aggravating or mitigating circumstance in this case,
the penalty that should be imposed is the medium period of the penalty prescribed by law, that is,
reclusion temporal in its medium period, or, anywhere between fourteen years, eight months and one day
to seventeen years and four months

L 4445 | February 28, 1955 | J. JBL Reyes
Obedience to Lawful Order of a Superior
Manuel Beronilla, Policarpio Paculdo, Filipino Velasco and Jacinto Adriatico file an appeal from the
judgement of the Abra CFI, which convicted them of murder for the execution of Arsenio Borjal, the
elected mayor of La, Paz, Abra (at the outbreak of war), which was found to be aiding the enemy.
Borjal moved to Bangued because of death threats was succeeded by Military Mayor Manuel Beronilla,
who was appointed by Lt. Col. Arbold, regimental commander of the 15 th Infantry of the Phil. Army,
operating as guerilla unit in Abra. Simultaneously upon his appointment, Beronilla received a
memorandum which authorized him to appoint a jury of 12 bolo men to try persons accused of treason,
espionage and aiding or abetting the enemy.
Upon the return of Borjal and his family to Abra, to escape bombing in Bangued, he was placed under
custody and tried and sentenced to death by the jury based on various complaints made by the residents.
Beronilla reported this to Col. Arnold who replied, saying I can only compliment you for your impartial
but independent way of handling the whole case.
Two years thereafter, Beronilla, along with the executioner, digger and jury, were indicted for the murder
of Borjal. Soon after, President Manuel Roxas issued Executive Proclamation 8, which granted amnesty
to persons who committed acts in furtherance of the resistance to the enemy against persons aiding in
the war efforts of the enemy.
The rest of defendants applied and were granted amnesty, but Beronilla and others were convicted on the
grounds that the crime was made on purely personal motives and that the crime was committed after the
expiration of time limit for amnesty proclamation.

Issue: W/N the defendant-appellants actions are covered by justifying circumstances for obedience to
lawful order of superior

Yes. The accused acted upon orders of their superior officers, which as military subordinates, they could
not question and obeyed in good faith without the being aware of its illegality.
The evidence is sufficient to sustain the claim of the defense that arrest, prosecution and trial of Borjal
was done in pursuant to express orders of superiors. Additionally, it could not be established that Beronilla
received the radiogram from Colonel Volckmann, overall area commander, which called attention to the
illegality of Borjals conviction and sentence. Had Beronilla known the violation, he would not have dared
to report it to Arnold. The conduct of the accused also does not show malice on their part because of the
conduct of the trial, defense through counsel given to Borjal, suspension of trial based on doubts of
illegality and death sentence review sent to the superior officers.
Criminal intent then could not be established. The maxim here is actus non facit reum, nisi mens
rea (Crime is not committed if the mind of the person performing the act complained of to be innocent).
Additionally, the lower court should not have denied their claim to the benefits of the Guerilla Amnesty
Proclamation No. 8 inspite of contradictory dates of liberation of La Paz, Abra. Even if the dates were
contradictory, the court should have found for the Beronila, et al because if there are any reasonable
doubt as to whether a given case falls within the (amnesty) proclamation should be resolved in favor of
the accused.
People vs. Beronilla [96 Phil. 566 (1955)]
Post under case digests, Criminal Law at Thursday, February 23, 2012 Posted by Schizophrenic Mind
Facts: Arsenio Borjal was mayor of La Paz Abra at the outbreak of war and continued to serve as mayor
during the Japanese occupation. Dec 19, 1944 accused-appellant Manuel Beronilla was appointed
Military Mayor of La Paz by LT. Col Arnold. Simultaneously, he received a memorandum issued by Arnold
authorizing them to appoint a jury of 12 bolomen to try persons accused of treason, espionage or aiding
the enemy. He also received a list of all puppet government officials of Abra, with a memorandum
instructing all Military Mayors to investigate said persons and gather against them complaints. Beronilla,
pursuant to his instructions placed Borjal under custody and asked residents of La Paz to file case against
him. He also appointed a 12-man jury composed of Labuguen as chairman and others, plus Alverne and
Balmaceda were prosecutors; Paculdo as clerk of the jury, and Inovermo as counsel for the accused, later
Atty. Ban-eras voluntarily appeared as counsel for Borjal. The jury found Borjal guilty on all counts and
imposed death penalty. Mayor Beronilla forwarded the records of the case to Headquarters of Infantry for
review. Records were returned on April 18,1945 with approval of Arnold. On the same day, Beronilla
ordered the execution of Borjal. Immediately after the execution, Beronilla reported the execution to
Arnold, the latter complementing Beronilla.

Two years later, Mayor Beronillo and others involved in the Borjal case were indicted by CFI of Abra for
murder, for allegedly conspiring and confederating in the execution of Borjal. Pres. Roxas issued E.P.
no.8, granting amnesty to all persons who committed acts penalized, under RPC in furtherance of

resistance to the enemy against persons aiding in the war efforts of the enemy. All the accused ( except
Labuguen who filed and granted amnesty by the AFP), filed their application to Second Guerilla Amnesty
Commission, which denied their application on the ground that they were inspired by purely personal
motives, thus remanding case to CFI for trial on merits. On July 10, 1950 Beronillo, Paculdo, Velasco and
Adriatico were convicted as conspirator and co-principals of crime murder. They appealed.

(1) Whether or nor accused appellants are guilty of murder; and

(2) Whether or not they should be granted amnesty.

Held: The records are ample to show that Beronilla acted pursuant to the orders of the Infantry
Headquarters. Although it was alleged by the state that there was a radiogram from certain Col. Volkmann
to Lt. Col. Arnold, on the illegality of Borjal's execution, there are no sufficient evidence to show that it was
known to Beronilla. Furthermore, the messages of Col. Arnold approving the decisions of Beronilla prove
otherwise. The testimony of Rafael Balmaceda, relative of Borjal was also unreliable.

The state claims that the appellants held grudges against late Borjal, but court said that the conduct of the
appellants does not dispose that they were impelled by malice. In fact, prior to the execution, Beronilla
sent the decision for review. The lower court also found that Borjal was really guilty of treasonable acts.
The court held that the accused-appellants just acted upon the orders of superiors and criminal intent was
not established.

Even assuming the accused-appellant are guilty of murder, they should not be denied of the amnesty on
the ground that the slaying took place after actual liberation of the area from enemy control. The court
held that any reasonable doubt as to whether a given case falls within the amnesty proclamation shall be
resolved in favor of the accused.