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Cabanlig v Sandiganbayan 

G.R. No. 148431   July 28, 2005 
 Carpio, J. 

Facts:

This petition for review seeks to reverse the Decision of the Sandiganbayan dated 11 May 1999 and Resolution dated May 2001 affirming the
conviction of SPO2 Ruperto Cabanlig ("Cabanlig") for homicide. The Sandiganbayan sentenced Cabanlig to suffer the indeterminate penalty of
four months of arresto mayor as minimum to two years and four months of prision correctional as maximum and to pay P50,000 to the heirs
of Jimmy Valino ("Valino"). Cabanlig shot Valino after Valino grabbed the M16 Armalite of another policeman and tried to escape from the
custody   of   the   police.   The   Sandiganbayan   acquitted   Cabanlig's   co­accused,   SPO1   Carlos   Padilla   ("Padilla"),   PO2   Meinhart   Abesamis
("Abesamis"), SPO2 Lucio Mercado ("Mercado") and SPO1 Rady Esteban ("Esteban"). 

On Sep 24 1992 a robbery occurred in the Municipality of Penaranda, Nueva Ecija. The authorities apprehended 3 suspects: Jordan Magat
("Magat"), Randy Reyes ("Reyes") and Valino. The police recovered most of the stolen items but a flower vase and small radio were still
missing. Reyes told authorities that the items were at his house. Cabalig asked his colleagues to accompany him to retrieve said items. When
Cabalig brought out Magat and Reyes out of their cell intending to bring them during the retrieval operation, Valino informed Cabanlig that
he moved the locations of the items without knowledge of the other two. Cabanlig then decided to bring along Valino, leaving the two, for the
ret. op. 

Around 6:30 pm, Cabanlig and his collegues, 5 of them, escorted Valino to recover the missing flower vase and radio. The policemen and
Valino were aboard a police vehicle, an Isuzu pick­up jeep. The jeep was built like an ordinary jeepney. The rear end of the jeep had no
enclosure. A metal covering separated the driver's compartment and main body of the jeep. There was no opening or door between the two
compartments of the jeep. Inside the main body of the jeep, were two long benches, each of which was located at the left and right side of the
jeep.

Cabanlig, Mercado and Esteban were seated with Valino inside the main body of the jeep. Esteban was right behind Abesamis at the left
bench. Valino, who was not handcuffed, was between Cabanlig and Mercado at the right bench. Valino was seated at Cabanlig's left and at
Mercado's right. Mercado was seated nearest to the opening of the rear of the jeep.

Just after the jeep crossed the Philippine National Railway bridge, Valino suddenly grabbed Mercado's M 16 Armalite (he was able to do so
when Mercado tried to reach his back to nurse an itch because of some flying insects) and jumped out of the jeep. Mercado shouted “hoy” and
Cabanlig acted immediately. Without issuing any warning, Cabanlig fired one shot at Valino, and after two to three seconds, Cabanlig fired
four more successive shots. Valino did not fire any shot. Valino died sustaining three mortal wounds — one at the back of the head, one at the
left side of the chest, and one at the left lower back.

The following morning, Sep 29, 1992, a certain SPO4 Lacanilao investigated the case. He met with Mercado to whom the latter related that he
and his fellow policemen “salvaged” a person the night before. Mercado then asked Lacanilao why he was interested in the identity of the
person who was "salvaged." Lacanilao then answered that "Jimmy Valino" was his cousin. Mercado immediately turned around and left.

Cabanlig admitted shooting Valino. However, Cabanlig justified the shooting as an act of self­defense and performance of duty. Mercado
denied that he told Lacanilao that he and his co­accused "salvaged" Valino. Cabanlig, Mercado, Abesamis, Padilla, and Esteban denied that
they conspired to kill Valino.

Issue:
WON Cabanlig could invoke defense of fulfillment of duty to justify his actions 

Held:

YES.  The requisites of fulfillment of duty are:

1. The accused acted in the performance of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or office;
2. The injury caused or the offense committed be the necessary consequence of the due performance of duty or the lawful exercise
of such right or office.

A policeman in the performance of duty is justified in using such force as is reasonably necessary to secure and detain the offender, overcome
his resistance, prevent his escape, recapture him if he escapes, and protect himself from bodily harm.

Unlike in self­defense where unlawful aggression is an element, in performance of duty, unlawful aggression from the victim is not a requisite.

Undoubtedly, the policemen in the case at bar were in the legitimate performance of their duty when Cabanlig shot Valino.   Thus fulfillment
of duty is a justifying circumstance applicable to the case. 

However, to determine if this defense is complete, it has to be determined if Cabanlig used necessary force to prevent Valino from escaping
and in protecting himself and his co­accused policemen from imminent danger.

The court rules yes as well. Valino was committing an offense when he grabbed the M16 Armalite. The policemen had the duty then to not
only apprehend Valino but also retrieve the firearm. Had Cabanlig failed to shoot Valino immediately, the policemen would have been sitting
ducks. They were facing imminent danger as Valino had with him the armalite, so the policemen had to act swiftly. 
The Court states that Sandiganbayan was wrong in holding that Cabanlig had no right to shoot without giving Valino the opportunity to
surrender and that they should have issued a warning first.  

The duty to issue a warning is not absolutely mandated at all times and at all cost, to the detriment of the life of law enforcers. In this case,
the embattled policemen did not have the luxury of time. Neither did they have much choice. Cabanlig's shooting of Valino was an immediate
and spontaneous reaction to imminent danger. At any rate, Mercado’s “hoy” already served as a warning to Valino. 

Cabanlig is thus not guilty of homicide. At most, Cabanlig, Padilla, Abesamis, Mercado and Esteban are guilty only of gross negligence for
transporting an arrested robber without handcuffs. 

Court reverses decision of Sandiganbayan and acquits Cabanlig of the crime of homicide. 

 
People vs. Alconga 

Post under case digests, Criminal Law at 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”

LITO VINO, petitioner, 
vs.
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and THE COURT OF APPEALS, respondents.

Frisco T. Lilagan for petitioner.


RESOLUTION

GANCAYCO, J.:
The issue posed in the motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner of the resolution of this Court
dated January 18, 1989 denying the herein petition is whether or not a finding of guilt as an accessory
to murder can stand in the light of the acquittal of the alleged principal in a separate proceeding.
At about 7:00 o'clock in the evening of March 21, 1985, Roberto Tejada left their house at Burgos
Street, Poblacion, Balungao, Pangasinan to go to the house of Isidro Salazar to watch television. At
around 11:00 P.M., while Ernesto, the father of Roberto, was resting, he heard two gunshots.
Thereafter, he heard Roberto cry out in a loud voice saying that he had been shot. He saw Roberto ten
(10) meters away so he switched on the lights of their house. Aside from Ernesto and his wife, his
children Ermalyn and Julius were also in the house. They went down to meet Roberto who was crying
and they called for help from the neighbors. The neighbor responded by turning on their lights and the
street lights and coming down from their houses. After meeting Roberto, Ernesto and Julius saw Lito
Vino and Jessie Salazar riding a bicycle coming from the south. Vino was the one driving the bicycle
while Salazar was carrying an armalite. Upon reaching Ernesto's house, they stopped to watch Roberto.
Salazar pointed his armalite at Ernesto and his companions. Thereafter, the two left.
Roberto was brought to the Sacred Heart Hospital of Urdaneta. PC/Col. Bernardo Cacananta took his
ante-mortem statement. In the said statement which the victim signed with his own blood, Jessie
Salazar was Identified as his assailant.
The autopsy report of his body shows the following-
Gunshot wound
POE Sub Scapular-5-6-ICA. Pal
1 & 2 cm. diameter left
Slug found sub cutaneously,
2nd ICS Mid Clavicular line left.
CAUSE OF DEATH
Tension Hemathorax 1
Lito Vino and Sgt. Jesus Salazar were charged with murder in a complaint filed by PC Sgt. Ernesto N.
Ordono in the Municipal Trial Court of Balungao, Pangasinan. However, on March 22, 1985, the
municipal court indorsed the case of Salazar to the Judge Advocate General's Office (JAGO) inasmuch
as he was a member of the military, while the case against Vino was given due course by the issuance
of a warrant for his arrest. Ultimately, the case was indorsed to the fiscal's office who then filed an
information charging Vino of the crime of murder in the Regional Trial Court of Rosales, Pangasinan.
Upon arraignment, the accused Vino entered a plea of not guilty. Trial then commenced with the
presentation of evidence for the prosecution. Instead of presenting evidence in his own behalf, the
accused filed a motion to dismiss for insufficiency of evidence to which the prosecutor filed an answer.
On January 21, 1986, 2 a decision was rendered by the trial court finding Vino guilty as an
accessory to the crime of murder and imposing on him the indeterminate penalty of
imprisonment of 4 Years and 2 months of prision correccional as minimum to 8 years of
prision mayor as maximum. He was also ordered to indemnify the heirs of the victim in the
sum of P10,000.00 being a mere accessory to the crime and to pay the costs.
The motion for reconsideration filed by the accused having been denied, he interposed an appeal to the
Court of Appeals. In due course, a Decision was rendered affirming the judgment of the lower court. 3
Hence, the herein petition for review wherein the following grounds are invoked:
1. THAT AN ACCUSED CAN NOT BE CONVICTED AS AN ACCESSORY OF THE
CRIME OF MURDER FOR HAVING AIDED IN THE ESCAPE OF THE PRINCIPAL
IF SAID ACCUSED IS BEING CHARGED SOLELY IN THE INFORMATION AS
PRINCIPAL FOR THE SIMPLE REASON THAT THE CRIME PROVED IS NOT
INCLUDED IN THE CRIME CHARGED.
2. THAT "AIDING THE ESCAPE OF THE PRINCIPAL" TO BE CONSIDERED
SUFFICIENT IN LAW TO CONVICT AN ACCUSED UNDER ARTICLE 19,
PARAGRAPH 3 OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE MUST BE DONE IN SUCH A
WAY AS TO DECEIVE THE VIGILANCE OF THE LAW ENFORCEMENT
AGENCIES OF THE STATE AND THAT THE "ESCAPE" MUST BE ACTUAL;
3. THE CONVICTION OF AN ACCESSORY PENDING THE TRIAL OF THE
PRINCIPAL VIOLATES PROCEDURAL ORDERLINESS. 4
During the pendency of the appeal in the Court of Appeals, the case against Salazar in the JAGO was
remanded to the civil court as he was discharged from the military service. He was later charged with
murder in the same Regional Trial Court of Rosales, Pangasinan in Criminal Case No. 2027-A. In a
supplemental pleading dated November 14, 1988, petitioner informed this Court that Jessie Salazar was
acquitted by the trial court in a decision that was rendered on August 29, 1988.
The respondents were required to comment on the petition. The comment was submitted by the
Solicitor General in behalf of respondents. On January 18, 1989, the Court resolved to deny the petition
for failure of petitioner to sufficiently show that respondent court had committed any reversible error in
its questioned judgment. Hence, the present motion for reconsideration to which the respondents were
again required to comment. The required comment having been submitted, the motion is now due for
resolution.
The first issue that arises is that inasmuch as the petitioner was charged in the information as a
principal for the crime of murder, can he thereafter be convicted as an accessory? The answer is in the
affirmative.
Petitioner was charged as a principal in the commission of the crime of murder. Under Article 16 of the
Revised Penal Code, the two other categories of the persons responsible for the commission of the
same offense are the accomplice and the accessory. There is no doubt that the crime of murder had been
committed and that the evidence tended to show that Jessie Salazar was the assailant. That the
petitioner was present during its commission or must have known its commission is the only logical
conclusion considering that immediately thereafter, he was seen driving a bicycle with Salazar holding
an armalite, and they were together when they left shortly thereafter. At least two witnesses, Ernesto
and Julius Tejada, attested to these facts. It is thus clear that petitioner actively assisted Salazar in his
escape. Petitioner's liability is that of an accessory.
This is not a case of a variance between the offense charged and the offense proved or established by
the evidence, and the offense as charged is included in or necessarily includes the offense proved, in
which case the defendant shall be convicted of the offense proved included in that which is charged, or
of the offense charged included in that which is proved. 5
In the same light, this is not an instance where after trial has begun, it appears that there was a mistake
in charging the proper offense, and the defendant cannot be convicted of the offense charged, or of any
other offense necessarily included therein, in which case the defendant must not be discharged if there
appears to be a good cause to detain him in custody, so that he can be charged and made to answer for
the proper offense. 6
In this case, the correct offense of murder was charged in the information. The commission of the said
crime was established by the evidence. There is no variance as to the offense committed. The variance
is in the participation or complicity of the petitioner. While the petitioner was being held responsible as
a principal in the information, the evidence adduced, however, showed that his participation is merely
that of an accessory. The greater responsibility necessarily includes the lesser. An accused can be
validly convicted as an accomplice or accessory under an information charging him as a principal.
At the onset, the prosecution should have charged the petitioner as an accessory right then and there.
The degree of responsibility of petitioner was apparent from the evidence. At any rate, this lapse did
not violate the substantial rights of petitioner.
The next issue that must be resolved is whether or not the trial of an accessory can proceed without
awaiting the result of the separate charge against the principal. The answer is also in the affirmative.
The corresponding responsibilities of the principal, accomplice and accessory are distinct from each
other. As long as the commission of the offense can be duly established in evidence the determination
of the liability of the accomplice or accessory can proceed independently of that of the principal.
The third question is this-considering that the alleged principal in this case was acquitted can the
conviction of the petitioner as an accessory be maintained?
In United States vs. Villaluz and Palermo, 7 a case involving the crime of theft, this Court ruled that
notwithstanding the acquittal of the principal due to the exempting circumstance of minority or insanity
(Article 12, Revised Penal Code), the accessory may nevertheless be convicted if the crime was in fact
established.
Corollary to this is United States vs. Mendoza, 8 where this Court held in an arson case that the
acquittal of the principal must likewise result in the acquittal of the accessory where it was shown that
no crime was committed inasmuch as the fire was the result of an accident. Hence, there was no basis
for the conviction of the accessory.
In the present case, the commission of the crime of murder and the responsibility of the petitioner as an
accessory was established. By the same token there is no doubt that the commission of the same
offense had been proven in the separate case against Salazar who was charged as principal. However,
he was acquitted on the ground of reasonable doubt by the same judge who convicted Vino as an
accessory. The trial court held that the identity of the assailant was not clearly established. It observed
that only Julius Tejada identified Salazar carrying a rifle while riding on the bicycle driven by Vino,
which testimony is uncorroborated, and that two other witnesses, Ernesto Tejada and Renato Parvian
who were listed in the information, who can corroborate the testimony of Julius Tejada, were not
presented by the prosecution.
The trial court also did not give due credit to the dying declaration of the victim pinpointing Salazar as
his assailant on the ground that it was not shown the victim revealed the identity of Salazar to his father
and brother who came to his aid immediately after the shooting. The court a quo also deplored the
failure of the prosecution and law enforcement agencies to subject to ballistic examinations the bullet
slug recovered from the body of the victim and the two empty armalite bullet empty shells recovered at
the crime scene and to compare it with samples taken from the service rifle of Salazar. Thus, the trial
court made the following observation:
There appears to be a miscarriage of justice in this case due to the ineptitude of the law
enforcement agencies to gather material and important evidence and the seeming lack of
concern of the public prosecutor to direct the production of such evidence for the
successful prosecution of the case. 9
Hence, in said case, the acquittal of the accused Salazar is predicated on the failure of the prosecution
to adduce the quantum of evidence required to generate a conviction as he was not positively identified
as the person who was seen holding a rifle escaping aboard the bicycle of Vino.
A similar situation may be cited. The accessory was seen driving a bicycle with an unidentified person
as passenger holding a carbine fleeing from the scene of the crime immediately after the commission of
the crime of murder. The commission of the crime and the participation of the principal or assailant,
although not identified, was established. In such case, the Court holds that the accessory can be
prosecuted and held liable independently of the assailant.
We may visualize another situation as when the principal died or escaped before he could be tried and
sentenced. Should the accessory be acquitted thereby even if the commission of the offense and the
responsibility of the accused as an accessory was duly proven? The answer is no, he should be held
criminally liable as an accessory.
Although in this case involving Vino the evidence tended to show that the assailant was Salazar, as two
witnesses saw him with a rifle aboard the bicycle driven by Vino, in the separate trial of the case of
Salazar, as above discussed, he was acquitted as the trial court was not persuaded that he was positively
identified to be the man with the gun riding on the bicycle driven by Vino. In the trial of the case
against Vino, wherein he did not even adduce evidence in his defense, his liability as such an accessory
was established beyond reasonable doubt in that he assisted in the escape of the assailant from the
scene of the crime. The identity of the assailant is of no material significance for the purpose of the
prosecution of the accessory. Even if the assailant can not be identified the responsibility of Vino as an
accessory is indubitable.
WHEREFORE, the motion for reconsideration is denied and this denial is FINAL.
SO ORDERED.
Narvasa and Medialdea, JJ., concur.

Separate Opinions

CRUZ, J., dissenting:


I agree with the proposition in the ponencia that a person may be held liable as an accessory for helping
in the escape of the principal even if the latter is himself found not guilty. The examples given are quite
convincing. However, I do not think they apply in the case at bar, which is sui generis and not covered
by the general principle.
As Justice Aquino points out, Vino was convicted of having aided Jessie Salazar, who was named as
the principal at Vino's trial. At his own trial, the same Salazar was acquitted for lack of sufficient
Identification. Vino was convicted of helping in the escape not of an unnamed principal but,
specifically, of Jessie Salazar. As Salazar himself has been exonerated, the effect is that Vino is now
being held liable for helping an innocent man, which is not a crime. Vino's conviction should therefore
be reversed.
GRIÑO-AQUINO, J., dissenting:
I regret to have to disagree with the ponente's opinion.
There are three (3) kinds of accessories under Article 19 of the Revised Penal Code:
ART. 19. Accessories. — Accessories are those who, having knowledge of the
commission of the crime, and without having participated therein, either as principals or
accomplices, take part subsequent to its commission in any of the following manner:
1. By profiting themselves or assisting the offenders to profit by the effects of the crime.
2. By concealing or destroying the body of the crime, or the effects or instruments
thereof, in order to prevent its discovery.
3. By harboring, concealing, or assisting in the escape of the principal of the crime,
provided the accessory acts with abuse of his public functions or whenever the author of
the crime is guilty of treason, parricide, murder, or an attempt to take the life of the
Chief Executive, or is known to be habitually guilty of some other crime.
An accessory who falls under paragraph 1 may be convicted even if the principal is acquitted, as where
the principal was found to be a minor (U.S. vs. Villaluz and Palermo 32 Phil. 377) or the son of the
offended party (Cristobal vs. People, 84 Phil. 473).
An accessory under paragraph 2 who allegedly concealed or destroyed the body of the crime or the
effects or instruments may be convicted if the commission of the crime has been proven, even if the
principal has not been apprehended and convicted.
But an accessory under paragraph 3 who allegedly harbored, concealed the principal or assisted in his
escape, may not be convicted unless the principal, whom he allegedly harbored, concealed, or assisted
in escaping, has been identified and convicted.
I cannot see how the conviction of Vino as an accessory under paragraph 3 of Article 19 of the Rev.
Penal Code, for allegedly having assisted in the escape of Sgt. Jessie Salazar, the alleged killer of
Roberto Tejada, can stand since Salazar (who faced trial separately and subsequently) was acquitted,
ironically by the same court that convicted Vino earlier. The basis for Vino's conviction as accessory in
the crime of murder was his having driven the alleged killer Salazar in his tricycle after Tejada was
killed. Since the trial court acquitted Salazar, holding that the prosecution failed to prove that he was
the killer of Tejada, then Vino's having driven him in his tricycle did not constitute the act of assisting
in the escape of a killer.
The cases of U.S. vs. Villaluz and Palermo, 32 Phil. 377 and U.S. vs. Mendoza, 23 Phil. 194 cited in the
ponencia are not in point. In the Villaluz case the charge against accused as an accessory to theft was
brought under paragraph 2 of Article 19 of the Revised Penal Code, for having concealed the effects of
the crime by receiving and concealing a stolen watch. Although the principal, a young housegirl, was
acquitted on account of her tender age and lack of discernment, the accessory was nevertheless
convicted.
In the Mendoza case, the accused barrio captain who was charged as an accessory under paragraph 2
for not reporting the fire to the authorities, was acquitted because the crime of arson was not proven,
the fire being accidental.
The criminal liability of an accessory under paragraph 3 of Article 19 is directly linked to and
inseparable from that of the principal. Even if as in this case, the crime (murder) was proven but the
identity of the murderer was not (for the principal accused was acquitted by the trial court), the
petitioner tricycle-driver who allegedly drove him in his tricycle to escape from the scene of the crime,
may not be convicted as an accessory to the murder, for, as it turned out, the said passenger was not
proven to be the murderer. The accessory may not be convicted under paragraph 3 of Article 19 of the
Revised Penal Code if the alleged principal is acquitted for, in this instance, the principle that "the
accessory follows the principal" appropriately applies.
I therefore vote to acquit the petitioner.

Separate Opinions
CRUZ, J., dissenting:
I agree with the proposition in the ponencia that a person may be held liable as an accessory for helping
in the escape of the principal even if the latter is himself found not guilty. The examples given are quite
convincing. However, I do not think they apply in the case at bar, which is sui generis and not covered
by the general principle.
As Justice Aquino points out, Vino was convicted of having aided Jessie Salazar, who was named as
the principal at Vino's trial. At his own trial, the same Salazar was acquitted for lack of sufficient
Identification. Vino was convicted of helping in the escape not of an unnamed principal but,
specifically, of Jessie Salazar. As Salazar himself has been exonerated, the effect is that Vino is now
being held liable for helping an innocent man, which is not a crime. Vino's conviction should therefore
be reversed.
GRIÑO-AQUINO, J., dissenting:
I regret to have to disagree with the ponente's opinion.
There are three (3) kinds of accessories under Article 19 of the Revised Penal Code:
ART. 19. Accessories. — Accessories are those who, having knowledge of the
commission of the crime, and without having participated therein, either as principals or
accomplices, take part subsequent to its commission in any of the following manner:
1. By profiting themselves or assisting the offenders to profit by the effects of the crime.
2. By concealing or destroying the body of the crime, or the effects or instruments
thereof, in order to prevent its discovery.
3. By harboring, concealing, or assisting in the escape of the principal of the crime,
provided the accessory acts with abuse of his public functions or whenever the author of
the crime is guilty of treason, parricide, murder, or an attempt to take the life of the
Chief Executive, or is known to be habitually guilty of some other crime.
An accessory who falls under paragraph 1 may be convicted even if the principal is acquitted, as where
the principal was found to be a minor (U.S. vs. Villaluz and Palermo 32 Phil. 377) or the son of the
offended party (Cristobal vs. People, 84 Phil. 473).
An accessory under paragraph 2 who allegedly concealed or destroyed the body of the crime or the
effects or instruments may be convicted if the commission of the crime has been proven, even if the
principal has not been apprehended and convicted.
But an accessory under paragraph 3 who allegedly harbored, concealed the principal or assisted in his
escape, may not be convicted unless the principal, whom he allegedly harbored, concealed, or assisted
in escaping, has been identified and convicted.
I cannot see how the conviction of Vino as an accessory under paragraph 3 of Article 19 of the Rev.
Penal Code, for allegedly having assisted in the escape of Sgt. Jessie Salazar, the alleged killer of
Roberto Tejada, can stand since Salazar (who faced trial separately and subsequently) was acquitted,
ironically by the same court that convicted Vino earlier. The basis for Vino's conviction as accessory in
the crime of murder was his having driven the alleged killer Salazar in his tricycle after Tejada was
killed. Since the trial court acquitted Salazar, holding that the prosecution failed to prove that he was
the killer of Tejada, then Vino's having driven him in his tricycle did not constitute the act of assisting
in the escape of a killer.
The cases of U.S. vs. Villaluz and Palermo, 32 Phil. 377 and U.S. vs. Mendoza, 23 Phil. 194 cited in the
ponencia are not in point. In the Villaluz case the charge against accused as an accessory to theft was
brought under paragraph 2 of Article 19 of the Revised Penal Code, for having concealed the effects of
the crime by receiving and concealing a stolen watch. Although the principal, a young housegirl, was
acquitted on account of her tender age and lack of discernment, the accessory was nevertheless
convicted.
In the Mendoza case, the accused barrio captain who was charged as an accessory under paragraph 2
for not reporting the fire to the authorities, was acquitted because the crime of arson was not proven,
the fire being accidental.
The criminal liability of an accessory under paragraph 3 of Article 19 is directly linked to and
inseparable from that of the principal. Even if as in this case, the crime (murder) was proven but the
Identity of the murderer was not (for the principal accused was acquitted by the trial court), the
petitioner tricycle-driver who allegedly drove him in his tricycle to escape from the scene of the crime,
may not be convicted as an accessory to the murder, for, as it turned out, the said passenger was not
proven to be the murderer. The accessory may not be convicted under paragraph 3 of Article 19 of the
Revised Penal Code if the alleged principal is acquitted for, in this instance, the principle that "the
accessory follows the principal" appropriately applies.
I therefore vote to acquit the petitioner.
People v. Collado
April 30, 1991
Medialdea, J.
PETITIONERS
People of the Philippines
RESPONDENTS
Fernando Collado, Crisanto Lara (accused-appellant), Felix “Elex” Collado, Romeo Gloriani
NATURE
APPEAL from the decision of the RTC of Sta. Cruz, Laguna, Br. 26
BRIEF
4 Robbers killed an old woman
FACTS
 The accused 4 are charged with crime of robbery with homicide before the RTC
 (April 15, 1986) Fernando Collado and Crisanto Lara pleaded not guilty. Romeo Gloriani and Felix Collado
remained at large
 (Sept. 9, 1986) Fernando Collado withdrew his plea of guilty and pleaded guilty as an accomplice
 So, Lara was tried based on the previous merits, and he was found as the principal in the crime of robbery with
homicide and was sentenced to reclusion perpetua
 Basically this present appeal was by Crisanto Lara.

 (Jan. 18, 1985) Lara went to the house of Honorio de los Santos in Pila and proposed that they hold-up Maria
Regay but he was twice denied by Delos Santos
 (Jan. 20, 1985) @around 7 am, Josefina Buenaflor, daughter of the victim Maria Regay saw Lara on the road
walking to and fro bet. His house and her house
 (Jan 20, 1985) @around 10 am, Mario Marasigan, son-in-law of the victim who was cutting trees saw Felix
and Fernando standing on either end of the pathway leading to brgy. Pansol and concepcion as if waiting for
somebody. He also saw Lara and Gloriani at the pathway. Lara was holding a piece of wood while Gloriani
was hiding behind a coconut tree.
 (^same d) after a few minutes, he saw the victim walking along the pathway at a distance of more or less 40 m
from him. Felix who was at the end of the pathway hid himself and Lara is now behind a coconut tree. Lara
then struck her on the face with a piece of wood, a guava branch with a diameter of 2.5 inches with such
strong force that the old woman fell on the ground. Lara then hid himself and Gloriani dragged the victim
for about 5 meters to a coconut tree where he pulled out his knife and after stabbing her once, she appeared to
have gained consciousness. She struggled on her back, rolling on the ground as Gloriani continued stabbing
her. The weapon used by Gloriani for stabbing was a double bladed dagger around 6-7 inches long
excluding the handle.
 Marasigan was so surprised to see his uncle hit his mother-in law that he was not able to shout (C
CRISANTO LARA ANG UNCLE NYA)
 When the old woman stopped struggling, Gloriani pulled up her skirt and cut a cord tied around her waist
where she kept her money. Lara reappeared and he left with Gloriani followed by the Collados who took the
same route through the fence towards Fernando‘s house.
 Marasigan went down the tree but did not go near the victim and did not tell his relatives bec. Lara is his
uncle. He left the place at around 10:30 am and did his normal work.
 (Jan 20, 1985) @around 10 am so same morning, Josefina Buenaflor was told by her sister that their mother
who attended a wedding feast at Mojon has not yet returned home. So they looked for her at the coconut
plantation (her usual route to Mojon) but they failed to find her. Neighbors also didn’t know
 (Jan 20, 1985) @around 3 pm a certain Ugid Balatibat told Josefina that he saw Maria Regay sprawled on a
coconut plantation. Josefina and her sister ran to reach the place but around 3 coconut plantations away where
they eventually found their mother, Lara told them not to touch the body of their mother as there were no
policemen yet at that time.
 (Jan 21, 1985) Josefina was finally able to see her mom’s body. She was with barrio mates and policemen.
 Her mother had a ‘kacha’ tied on her waistline where she kept her earnings from selling pigs and chickens
that she raised. When the mom was found dead, the kacha was no longer there. Her Seiko watch worth 500
pesos was also not in her pocket anymore.
 The wake of Maria Regay lasted for 5 days and the fucker Lara even attended the wake and looked at the
cadaver often. He even solicited donations from tricycle drivers.
 Dr. Rosauro Pramil conducted an autopsy, and he said that the victim had already shown a sign of
putrefactive changes as shown by the appearance of small worms on the eyes, nose and ear openings.
The body was emitting an unfavorable odor which suggest more than 4 hrs have passed since death. ETD is 10
AM of January 20.
 External Findings: There was a depressed fracture on the head region and on the left temporal with
contusions. There is also a periorbital contusion on the side of the head. There were multiple stab wounds on
the chest and the back (about 9:2 (wtf is this?) stab wounds on the left and right area below the clavicle, one
on the right breast, stab wound on the left breast, stab wound on mid portion of the chest etc etc) in
extremities, right forearm had a closed and complete fracture at the 3rd radioulna bones. Left upper arm was
almost macerated which could be the result of a stray dog bite.
 Internal Findings: Extradural Hemorrhage on the left temporal area; intrapleural hemorrhage on the chest due
to wound on both lungs. Heart was not hit.
 Affected body parts: brain, lungs, bones, abdominal region
 Cause of death: PULMONARY FAILURE SECONDARY TO LUNG DAMAGE. Examiner cannot ascertain
victim’s position but probably the victim was not facing the evil when she was hit
 After 15 days, Mario Marasigan finally reported the matter since he was bothered by his conscience.
 CRISANTO LARA DEFENSE: He was @ Laguna Prov. Hospital since his nephew’s body was swollen and
stayed there until around 2pm. Then he went to the house of his nephew’s father and cooked food. He went to
sleep @a round 6: 30 pm. He denied Mario Marasigan’s claim that he struck the victim with a guava tree
branch because his left hand is amputated and his right hand is “pasmado”. His right hand’s forefinger is
severed and basically his fingers are deformed (bec. Of palay milling). He claimed tha this right hand cannot
hold a knife but he was able to grasp a stamp pad in the court.

 Fernando Collado said that Lara was not with them during the commission of the crime but this looks like an
afterthought bec. he implicated the abused at the police station.

ISSUES x RULING
1. WON Crisanto Lara is Guilty beyond reasonable doubt

YES. Mario Marasigan’s positive identification testimony. Medicolegal stated that the victim was hit by a hard object. Lara
is still able to work as a banana buyer even when his hand is damaged, and he is right-handed (left hand ang amputated).
Honorio delos Santos’ subsequent statement that he knew of Lara’s plans (although 2 yrs late ang admission). Nephew never
confirmed that accused was at the hospital.
TRIAL COURT AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES: disregard of age and sex, uninhabited place, taking advantage of
superior strength and evident premeditation.
SC AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES: evident premeditation and disregard of respet due to offended party by reason of
rank/sex/age should not be taken into account because the crime is robbery. So bale ang natira ay uninhabited placeand
taking advantage of superior strength
DISPOSITIVE
Decision appealed is affirmed. LARA IS GUILTY.

People v Maglian

facts:

Accused Jay Mandy Maglian (Maglian) was charged with killing his wife, Mary Jay Rios Maglian by setting
her on fire. The fire caused third degree burns on Mary Jay, which eventually led to her death. The couple’s
disagreement stemmed from Maglian not wanting to let Mary Jay attend a party, which led to him pouring
kerosene all over Mary Jay and setting her on fire.
PROCEDURAL:
Whether or not the amount for damages is excessive and should be modified? Yes.

Ruling

We modify the monetary awards, those being excessive. We award a civil indemnity ex delicto as this is
"mandatory upon proof of the fact of death of the victim and the culpability of the accused for the death." As
We ruled, "When death occurs due to a crime, the following may be recovered: (1) civil indemnity ex delicto
for the death of the victim; (2) actual or compensatory damages; (3) moral damages; (4) exemplary
damages; (5) attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation; and (6) interest, in proper cases." Current
jurisprudence pegs the award of civil indemnity at PhP 50,000.

SUBSTANTIVE:
Whether or not the accused is entitled to mitigating circumstances? Yes. Under voluntary surrender

RULING

We find that in the case of accused-appellant, all the elements for a valid voluntary surrender were present.
Accused-appellant at the time of his surrender had not actually been arrested. He surrendered to the police
authorities. His surrender was voluntary, as borne by the certification issued by the police. There is, thus,
merit to the claim of accused-appellant that he is entitled to the mitigating circumstance of voluntary
surrender

doctrine

Mitigating Circumstances; No intent to commit so grave a wrong : The Revised Penal Code provides under
Article 13(3) the mitigating circumstance that the offender had no intention to commit so grave a wrong as
that committed. We held, "This mitigating circumstance addresses itself to the intention of the offender at the
particular moment when the offender executes or commits the criminal act."
There was no disparity between the means he used in injuring his wife and the resulting third degree burns
on her body. He is, thus, not entitled to the mitigating circumstance under Art. 13(3) of the Code.
Voluntary Surrender: An accused may enjoy the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender if the
following requisites are present: "
(1) the offender has not been actually arrested;
(2) the offender surrendered himself to a person in authority or the latter’s agent; and 3) the surrender was
voluntary.
We find that in the case of accused-appellant, all the elements for a valid voluntary surrender were present.
Accused-appellant at the time of his surrender had not actually been arrested. He surrendered to the police
authorities. His surrender was voluntary, as borne by the certification issued by the police. There is, thus,
merit to the claim of accused-appellant that he is entitled to the mitigating circumstance of voluntary
surrender.
Damages: Moral damages should also be awarded even absent allegation and proof of the emotional
suffering by the victim’s heirs. The amount should be decreased to PhP 50,000 in accordance with
jurisprudence.Exemplary damages in the lowered amount of PhP 30,000 are likewise in order in this case
charging parricide, as the qualifying circumstance of relationship is present.

G.R. No. 180219. November 23, 2011.*

VIRGILIO TALAMPAS y MATIC,
PHILIPPINES, respondent.

petitioner, vs. PEOPLE

OF

THE

Criminal Law; Homicide; Self­defense; Elements of the Plea of Self­defense.—
The elements of the plea of self­defense are: (a) unlawful aggression on the part of
the victim; (b) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel the
unlawful aggression; and (c) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the accused
in defending himself.
Same; Same; Words and Phrases; Accident; Accident is an event that happens
outside the sway of our will and although it comes about through some act of our
will, it lies beyond the bounds of humanly foreseeable consequences; Accident
presupposes the lack of intention to commit the wrong done.—Talampas could not
relieve himself of criminal liability by invoking accident as a defense. Article 12(4)
of the Revised Penal Code, the legal provision pertinent to accident, contemplates a
situation where a person is in fact in the act of doing something legal, exercising
due care, diligence and prudence, but in the process produces harm or injury to
someone or to something not in the least in the mind of the actor—an accidental
result flowing out of a legal act. Indeed, accident is an event that happens outside
the sway of our will, and although it comes about through some act of our will, it
lies beyond the bounds of humanly foreseeable consequences. In short, accident
presupposes the lack of intention to commit the wrong done.

PETITION for review on certiorari of a decision of the Court of Appeals.
_______________
* FIRST DIVISION.
198

198

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Talampas vs. People
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.
Public Attorney’s Office for petitioner.
The Solicitor General for respondent.

BERSAMIN, J.:
By petition for review on certiorari, Virgilio Talampas yMatic
(Talampas) seeks the review of the affirmance of his conviction for
homicide (for the killing of the late Ernesto Matic y Masinloc) by the Court
of Appeals (CA) through its decision promulgated on August 16, 2007.1
The Regional Trial Court, Branch 25, in Biñan, Laguna (RTC) had
rejected his pleas of self­defense and accident and had declared him guilty
of the felony under the judgment rendered on June 22, 2004.2
Antecedents
The information filed on November 17, 1995, to which Talampas
pleaded not guilty, averred as follows:3
“That on or about July 5, 1995, in the Municipality of Biñan, Province of Laguna,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, accused VIRGILIO
TALAMPAS, with intent to kill, while conveniently armed with a short firearm and
without any justifiable cause, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously attack, assault and shoot one Ernesto Matic yMasinloc with the said
firearm, thereby inflicting upon him gunshot wound at the back of his body which
directly caused his instantaneous death, to the damage and prejudice of his
surviving heirs.
CONTRARY TO LAW.”
_______________
1 Rollo, pp. 67­75; penned by Associate Justice Aurora Santiago­Lagman (retired), with
Associate Justice Bienvenido L. Reyes (now a Member of the Court) and Associate Justice
Apolinario D. Bruselas, Jr. concurring.
2 Id., at pp. 25­31.
3 Id., at p. 24.
199

VOL. 661, NOVEMBER 23, 2011
199
Talampas vs. People
The State presented as witnesses Jose Sevillo, Francisco Matic, Jerico
Matic, Dr. Valentin Bernales, and Josephine Matic. The CA summarized
their testimonies thuswise:4
“Prosecution witness Jose Sevillo (Jose) who allegedly witnessed the incident in
question, testified that on July 5, 1995 at about 7:00 o’clock in the evening, he
together with Eduardo Matic (Eduardo) and Ernesto Matic (Ernesto) were infront of
his house, along the road in Zona Siete (7), Wawa, Malaban, Biñan, Laguna,
repairing his tricycle when he noticed the appellant who was riding on a bicycle
passed by and stopped. The latter alighted at about three (3) meters away from him,
walked a few steps and brought out a short gun, a revolver, and poked the same to
Eduardo and fired it hitting Eduardo who took refuge behind Ernesto. The
appellant again fired his gun three (3) times, one shot hitting Ernesto at the right
portion of his back causing him (Ernesto) to fall on the ground with his face down.
Another shot hit Eduardo on his nape and fell down on his back (patihaya).
Thereafter, the appellant ran away, while he (Jose) and his neighbors brought the
victims to the hospital. On June 6, 1995, Jose executed a Sworn Statement at the
Biñan Police Station.
Another witness, Francisco Matic, testified that prior to the death of his brother
Ernesto who was then 44 years old, he (Ernesto) was driving a tricycle on a
boundary system and earned P100.00 daily, although not on a regular basis because
sometimes Ernesto played in a band for P100.00 per night.
Jerico Matic, eldest son of Ernesto, alleged that he loves his father and his death
was so painful to him that he could not quantify his feelings in terms of money. The
death of his father was a great loss to them as they would not be able to pursue
their studies and that nobody would support them financially considering that the
money being sent by their mother in the amount of P2,000.00 to P2,500.00 every
three (3) months, would not be enough.
Dr. Valentin Bernales likewise, testified that he was the one who conducted the
autopsy on the body of Ernesto and found one gunshot in the body located at the
back of the costal area, right side, sixteen (16) centimeters from the spinal column.
This shot was fatal as it involved the major organs such as the lungs, liver and the
spinal column which caused Ernesto’s death.
The last witness, Josephine Matic, wife of Ernesto, testified that her husband
was laid to rest on July 18, 1995 and that his untimely death was so
_______________
4 Id., at pp. 68­69.
200

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Talampas vs. People

painful and that she could not provide her children with sustenance. She asked for
the amount of P200,000.00 for her to be able to send her children to school.”

On his part, Talampas interposed self­defense and accident. He insisted
that his enemy had been Eduardo Matic (Eduardo), not victim Ernesto
Matic (Ernesto); that Eduardo, who was then with Ernesto at the time of
the incident, had had hit him with a monkey wrench, but he had parried
the blow; that he and Eduardo had then grappled for the monkey wrench;
that while they had grappled, he had notice that Eduardo had held a
revolver; that he had thus struggled with Eduardo for control of the
revolver, which had accidentally fired and hit Ernesto during their
struggling with each other; that the revolver had again fired, hitting
Eduardo in the thigh; that he had then seized the revolver and shot
Eduardo in the head; and that he had then fled the scene when people had
started swarming around.
Ruling of the RTC
On June 22, 2004, the RTC, giving credence to the testimony of
eyewitness Jose Sevilla, found Talampas guilty beyond reasonable doubt
of homicide,5 and disposed:
“WHEREFORE, premises considered, the court finds the accused guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of Homicide, with one mitigating circumstance of
voluntary surrender, and hereby sentences him to suffer an indeterminate penalty
of IMPRISONMENT ranging from TEN (10) years and One (1) day of prision mayor,
as minimum, to FOURTEEN (14) years and EIGHT (8) months of reclusion
temporal, as maximum. He is likewise ordered to pay the heirs of Ernesto
Matic y Masinloc the following sums, to wit:
1. P50,000.00 – as and for death indemnity;
2. P50,000.00 – as and for moral damages;
3. P25,000.00 – as and for actual damages; and
4. P30,000.00 – as and for temperate damages.
Furnish Public Prosecutor Nofuente, Atty. Navarroza, the private complainant
and accused with a copy of this decision.
_______________
5 Supra, note 2.
201

VOL. 661, NOVEMBER 23, 2011
Talampas vs. People

201

SO ORDERED.”6

Ruling of the CA
Talampas appealed to the CA, contending that:
I
THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE GUILT OF
THE ACCUSED­APPELLANT FOR THE CRIME CHARGED HAS BEEN PROVEN
BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT.
II
THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN NOT FINDING THAT THE DEATH
OF ERNESTO MATIC WAS MERELY ACCIDENTAL.
III
THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN NOT FINDING THAT THE
ACCUSED­APPELLANT ACTED IN DEFENSE OF HIMSELF WHEN HE
GRAPPLED WITH EDUARDO MATIC.

Still, the CA affirmed the conviction based on the RTC’s factual and
legal conclusions, and ruled that Talampas, having invoked self­defense,
had in effect admitted killing Ernesto and had thereby assumed the
burden of proving the elements of self­defense by credible, clear and
convincing evidence, but had miserably failed to discharge his burden.7
The CA deleted the award of temperate damages in view of the
awarding of actual damages, pointing out that the two kinds of damages
were mutually exclusive.8
Issue
Hence, Talampas is now before the Court, continuing to insist that his
guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt, and that the lower
_______________
6 Rollo, pp. 30­31.
7 Supra, note 1.
8 Id.
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Talampas vs. People
courts both erred in rejecting his claim of self­defense and accidental
death.

Ruling
The petition for review is denied for lack of merit.
Firstly, the elements of the plea of self­defense are: (a) unlawful
aggression on the part of the victim; (b) reasonable necessity of the means
employed to prevent or repel the unlawful aggression; and (c) lack of
sufficient provocation on the part of the accused in defending himself.9
In the nature of self­defense, the protagonists should be the accused and
the victim. The established circumstances indicated that such did not
happen here, for it was Talampas who had initiated the attack only
against Eduardo; and that Ernesto had not been at any time a target of
Talampas’ attack, he having only happened to be present at the scene of
the attack. In reality, neither Eduardo nor Ernesto had committed any
unlawful aggression against Talampas. Thus, Talampas was not repelling
any unlawful aggression from the victim (Ernesto), thereby rendering his
plea of self­defense unwarranted.
Secondly, Talampas could not relieve himself of criminal liability by
invoking accident as a defense. Article 12(4) of the Revised Penal
Code,10 the legal provision pertinent to accident, contemplates a situation
where a person is in fact in the act of doing something legal, exercising due
care, diligence and prudence, but in the process produces harm or injury to
someone or to something not in the least in
_______________
9 People v. Concepcion, G.R. No. 169060, February 6, 2007 514 SCRA 660, 668.
10 Article 12. Circumstances which exempt from criminal liability.—The following are
exempt from criminal liability:
xxx
4. Any person who, while performing a lawful act with due care, causes an
injury by mere accident without fault or intention of causing it.
xxx
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the mind of the actor—an accidental result flowing out of a legal
act.11 Indeed, accident is an event that happens outside the sway of our
will, and although it comes about through some act of our will, it lies
beyond the bounds of humanly foreseeable consequences.12 In short,
accident presupposes the lack of intention to commit the wrong done.
The records eliminate the intervention of accident. Talampas
brandished and poked his revolver at Eduardo and fired it, hitting
Eduardo, who quickly rushed to seek refuge behind Ernesto. At that point,
Talampas fired his revolver thrice. One shot hit Ernesto at the right
portion of his back and caused Ernesto to fall face down to the ground.
Another shot hit Eduardo on the nape, causing Eduardo to fall on his back.
Certainly, Talampas’ acts were by no means lawful, being a criminal
assault with his revolver against both Eduardo and Ernesto.
And, thirdly, the fact that the target of Talampas’ assault was Eduardo,
not Ernesto, did not excuse his hitting and killing of Ernesto. The fatal
hitting of Ernesto was the natural and direct consequence of Talampas’
felonious deadly assault against Eduardo. Talampas’ poor aim amounted
to aberratio ictus, or mistake in the blow, a circumstance that neither
exempted him from criminal responsibility nor mitigated his criminal
liability. Lo que es causa de la causa, es causa del mal causado (what is
the cause of the cause is the cause of the evil caused).13 Under Article 4 of
the Revised Penal Code,14 criminal liability is incurred by any person
committing a fel_______________
11 Reyes, The Revised Penal Code (Criminal Law), Book 1, 15th Edition (2001), p. 223.
12 Id.
13 Quotation is taken from Feria and Gregorio, Comments on the Revised Penal Code,
Volume I, 1958 First Edition, Central Book Supply, Inc., p. 49.
14 Article 4. Criminal liability.—Criminal liability shall be incurred:
1. By any person committing a felony (delito) although the wrongful act done be
different from that which he intended.
2. By any person performing an act which would be an offense against persons or
property, were it not for the inherent impossibility of its accomplishment or an account of
the employment of inadequate or ineffectual means.
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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Talampas vs. People
ony although the wrongful act done be different from that which he
intended.
Nonetheless, the Court finds the indeterminate sentence of 10 years and
one day of prision mayor, as minimum, to 14 years and eight months, as
maximum, legally erroneous.
The penalty for homicide under Article 246 of the Revised Penal
Code is reclusion temporal. Under Section 1 of the Indeterminate Sentence
Law,15 the court, in imposing a prison sentence for an offense punished by
the Revised Penal Code, or its amendments, is mandated to prescribe an
indeterminate sentence the maximum term of which shall be that
which, in view of the attending circumstances, could be properly imposed
under the rules of the Revised Penal Code, and the minimum term shall be
within the range of the penalty next lower to that prescribed by
the Revised Penal Code for the offense. With the absence of aggravating or
mitigating circumstances, the imposable penalty is reclusion temporal in
its medium period, or 14 years, eight months, and one day to 17 years and
four months. This is pursuant to Article 64 of the Revised Penal Code.16 It
is such period that the
_______________
15 Section 1. Hereafter, in imposing a prison sentence for an offense punished by
the Revised Penal Code, or its amendments, the court shall sentence the accused to an
indeterminate sentence the maximum term of which shall be that which, in view of the
attending circumstances, could be properly imposed under the rules of the said Code, and
the minimum which shall be within the range of the penalty next lower to that prescribed
by the Code for the offense; and if the offense is punished by any other law, the court shall
sentence the accused to an indeterminate sentence, the maximum term of which shall not
exceed the maximum fixed by said law and the minimum shall not be less than the
minimum term prescribed by the same. (As amended by Act No. 4225)
16 Article 64. Rules for the application of penalties which contain three periods.—In
cases in which the penalties prescribed by law contain three periods, whether it be a single
divisible penalty or composed of three different penalties, each one of which forms a period
in accordance with the provisions of Articles 76 and 77, the court shall observe for the
application of the penalty the following rules, according to whether there are or are not
mitigating or aggravating circumstances:
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VOL. 661, NOVEMBER 23, 2011
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Talampas vs. People
maximum term of the indeterminate sentence should be reckoned from.
Hence, limiting the maximum term of the indeterminate sentence at only
14 years and eight months contravened the express provision of
the Indeterminate Sentence Law, for such penalty was within the
minimum period of reclusion temporal. Accordingly, the Court must
add one day to the maximum term fixed by the lower courts.
The Court finds to be unnecessary the increment of one day as part of
the minimum term of the indeterminate sentence. It may be true that the
increment did not constitute an error, because the minimum term thus
fixed was entirely within the parameters of the Indeterminate Sentence
Law. Yet, the addition of one day to the 10 years as the minimum term of
the indeterminate sentence of Talampas may occasion a degree of
inconvenience when it will be time for the penal administrators concerned
to consider and determine whether Talampas is already qualified to enjoy
the benefits of the Indeterminate Sentence Law. Hence, in order to simplify
the computation of the minimum penalty of the indeterminate sentence,
the Court deletes the one­day increment from the minimum term of the
indeterminate sentence.
WHEREFORE, the Court AFFIRMS the decision promulgated on
August 16, 2007 finding VIRGILIO TALAMPAS y MATIC guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of homicide, and IMPOSES the
indeterminate sentence of 10 years of prision mayor, as minimum, to 14
years, eight months, and one day of reclusion temporal, as maximum.
The petitioner shall pay the costs of suit.
SO ORDERED.
Corona
(C.J.,
Chairperson),
Leonardo­De
Castro,
Del
Castillo and Villarama, Jr., JJ., concur.
_______________
1. When there are neither aggravating nor mitigating circumstances, they
shall impose the penalty prescribed by law in its medium period.
xxx
206

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Talampas vs. People
Judgment affirmed.

Note.—Since accused­appellant failed to prove that there was unlawful
aggression on the part of the victim, the claim of self­defense cannot
prosper. (People vs. Cuasay, 569 SCRA 870 [2008)
——o0o——
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