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1.) US v. Ah Chong GR No.

L-5272, March 19, 1910


The defendant, Ah Chong, was employed as a cook in one of the Officers’ quarters at Fort
McKinley, Rizal Province. Together living with him in the said quarters was the deceased, Pascual
Gualberto, who was employed as a houseboy. There had been several robberies in Fort McKinley prior to
the incident thus prompting the defendant and his roommate to reinforce the flimsy hook used to lock
the door of their room by placing a chair against it. The defendant and the deceased had an understanding
that when either returned at night, he should knock on the door and say his name.

On the night of Aug. 14, 1908, Ah Chong, who was alone in his room, was awakened by someone
trying to force open the door of the room. The defendant called out twice, asking the identity of the
person but heard no answer. Fearing that the intruder was a robber or a thief, the defendant called out
that he would kill the intruder if he tried to enter. At that moment, the door was forced open and the
defendant was struck first above the knee by the edge of the chair. Because of the darkness of the room,
the defendant thought he was being hit by the intruder and tried to defend himself by striking wildly at
the intruder using a common kitchen knife which he kept under his pillow. It turned out that the said
intruder was actually the defendant’s roommate, Pascual Gualberto. The roommate was brought to the
military hospital where he died from the effects of the wound the following day.

Issue / Held:

WON the defendant was criminally liable for committing a felony – NO.


By reason of a mistake as to the facts, the defendant did an act for which he would be exempt
from criminal liability if the facts were as he supposed them to be (i.e. if Pascual was actually a thief, he
will not be criminally liable/responsible because it would be self-defense), but would constitute the crime
of homicide or assassination if the actor had known the true state of the facts (i.e. if he knew that it was
actually Pascual, he would be guilty of homicide/assassination)

The defendant's ignorance or mistake of fact was not due to negligence or bad faith.

"The act itself does not make man guilty unless his intention were so"

The essence of the offense is the wrongful intent, without which it cannot exist.

"The guilt of the accused must depend on the circumstances as they appear to him."

If one has reasonable cause to believe the existence of facts which will justify a killing, if without
fault or carelessness he does believe them, he is legally guiltless of the homicide.

The defendant was doing no more than exercise his legitimate right of self-defense. He cannot be
said to have been guilty of negligence or recklessness or even carelessness in falling into his mistake as to
the facts

In order for mistake of fact to be held as a valid defense, there has to be several requisites. One,
that the act done would have been lawful had the facts been as the accused believed them to be. Two,
that the intention of the accused in performing the act should be lawful, and lastly, that the mistake must
be without fault or carelessness on the part of the accused.

In the case at bar, had the intruder been a robber as the defendant believed him to be, then Ah
Chong acted in good faith, without malice or criminal intent, and would have been wholly exempt from
criminal liability and that he cannot be said to have been guilty of negligence or recklessness.

2.) People vs. Oanis and Galanta, G.R. No. L-47722 July 27, 1943


Chief of Police Antonio Oanis and Corporal Alberto Galanta were instructed by the Constabulary
Provincial Inspector to arrest the escaped convict, Anselmo Balagtas, with a bailarina named Irene, and if
overpowered, to get him dead or alive.

Upon arrival at the place where Irene could be found, Oanis approached and asked Brigada
Mallare where Irene's room was. Brigada indicated the room and said that Irene was sleeping with her

Oanis and Galanta then went to the room and upon seeing a man sleeping with his back towards
the door, they simultaneously fired at him.

Shocked by the entire scene, Irene fainted.

It turned out later that the man shot and killed was not Balagtas but an innocent man named
Serapio Tecson, Irene's paramour.


Whether or not Oanis and Galanta can be held responsible for Tecson's death. YES


In support of the theory of non-liability by reasons of honest mistake of fact, appellants rely on
the case of U.S. v. Ah Chong, 15 Phil., 488. The maxim is ignorantia facti excusat, but this applies only
when the mistake is committed without fault or carelessness.

In the instant case, appellants, xxx found no circumstances whatsoever which would press them
to immediate action. The person in the room being then asleep, appellants had ample time and
opportunity to ascertain his identity without hazard to themselves, and could even effect a bloodless
arrest if any reasonable effort to that end had been made, as the victim was unarmed, according to Irene
Requinea. This, indeed, is the only legitimate course of action for appellants to follow even if the victim
was really Balagtas, as they were instructed not to kill Balagtas at sight but to arrest him, and to get him
dead or alive only if resistance or aggression is offered by him.

3.) People v. Aposaga and Monte, G.R. No. L-32477, October 30, 1981


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6.) People v. Mandapat,