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[G.R. No. L-32243. April 15, 1988.]

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. EUGENIO CRISOSTOMO, Accused-Appellant.
The Solicitor General for Plaintiff-Appellee.
Jose Ma. Abola for Accused-Appellant.

On Christmas day, December 25, 1967, between 6:00 and 7:00 o’clock in the evening at Sto. Rosario,
Hagonoy, Bulacan, Eugenio Crisostomo shot Romeo Geronimo with a .22 caliber revolver at a distance of one (1)
meter after the latter declined his offer to drink. Geronimo fell to the ground mortally wounded while Crisostomo
ran away. Their mutual friends who witnessed the incident came to the aide of the fallen Geronimo and brought
him to the Reyes Hospital at the Poblacion of Hagonoy where the doctor pronounced him dead on arrival. An
information for murder was filed by the provincial fiscal in the Court of First instance (CFI) of Bulacan against
Eugenio Crisostomo charging him of the crime of murder and a decision was rendered on March 28, 1969
convicting the accused of the offense charged.

During the arraignment, the accused entered a plea of not guilty but later on signified his intention to
withdraw his plea of not guilty to the charge of murder and substitute it with a plea of guilty to a lesser charge of
homicide and prayed that he be allowed to prove the mitigating circumstances. The same plea was made by the
accused after the prosecution had rested its case but the fiscal did not agree. Thus the court denied the petition.
Not satisfied therewith, the accused interposed this appeal alleging that the court erred in its decision.


Whether or not the appellant is entitled to the privileged mitigating circumstance of intoxication and voluntary


No. The arguments of the appellant are without merit. Under Article 15 of the Revised Penal Code, intoxication
shall be taken into consideration as a mitigating circumstance, if it is not habitual or subsequent to the plan to
commit said felony. The allegation of the appellant that he was drunk when he committed the offense is self-
serving and uncorroborated because he admitted that he was only dizzy at that time and that he was on his way to
another drinking spree. Obviously he had not drunk enough. He remembers the details of the shooting, the time it
started and ended, how much wine he imbibed and the persons who were with him. All these are acts of a man
whose mental capacity has not been impaired.

As to the second mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender, the court agreed that he was entitled to it.
However, he cannot be credited with the mitigating circumstance of a plea of guilty to a lesser offense of the
charge of homicide. The requisites of the mitigating circumstance of voluntary plea of guilty are: (1) that the
offender spontaneously confessed his guilt; (2) that the confession of guilt was made in open court, that is, before
the competent court that is to try the case; and (3) that the confession of guilt was made prior to the presentation
of evidence for the prosecution. In the present case the appellant offered to enter a plea of guilty to the lesser
offense of homicide only after some evidence of the prosecution had been presented. He reiterated his offer after
the prosecution rested its case which is certainly not mitigating

[G.R. Nos. 76954-55. February 26, 1988.]



On November 1, 1981, following an altercation about Marijuana with the victims, the accused-appellant Beniano
Renejane with the aid of five other persons, allegedly stabbed Mario de Jesus (policeman) and Regino Mara-asin
thereby inflicting several wounds and eventually leading to their instantaneous death. It was likewise noted that
sometime in October 2, 1981, the first altercation between the victims and defendant transpired when the
Renejane was first apprehended by de Jesus for the illegal possession of Marijuana and that Regino was suspected
to be the informer. With the prosecution’s evidence established by the testimony of an eyewitness, Pablo
Sumandig, the court found Renejane guilty beyond reasonable doubt with the crime of double murder.

In the case at bar, drunkenness is an alternative circumstance that was considered to be present in the commission
of the crime. Article 15 of the Revised Penal Code provides that Alternative Circumstances are those which must be
taken into consideration as aggravating or mitigating.


Whether or not drunkenness of accused-appellant aggravated or mitigated the commission of his crime


No. Only the aggravating circumstance of the act of disregarding the rank of de Jesus as policeman was
appreciated by the court. Intoxication is aggravating only if it is intentional or habitual. The appellant’s
drunkenness was attributed as a result of an ordinary drinking party. Neither was it considered as a mitigating
circumstance as his alcohol intake did not blur his reason or deprive him of self-control. In the case at bar,
treachery had been established and that the means of execution employed were deliberately or consciously

[G.R. NO. 169641 : September 10, 2009]

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RICHARD O. SARCIA, Accused-Appellant.


On December 16, 1996, accused-appellant invited the five-year old victim (AAA) to go with him to the backyard of
Saling Crisologo where he committed the rape. Unknown to Sarcia, the cousin of the victim followed them and
witnessed the whole incident. She then informed AAA’s mother about how appellant molested her cousin but she
was dismissed and reprimanded as they’re not supposed to talk about such matters considering their age. The
victim’s mother later realized the truth about AAA when she washed her young body particularly her private part.
However, due to money constraints, they filed the case at a later time.

Sarcia belied the accusation and was convinced that the parents of the victim were just encouraged by Salvacion
Bobier, a grandmother of another rape victim whose death was also imputed to him. However, the RTC ruled in
favor of the victim and convicted accused-appellant with the crime of rape. With death penalty imposed by the
RTC which were later modified by the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court found other grounds for further
modifying the penalty imposed. The Supreme Court did not agree with the RTC and CA’s conclusion that Sarcia is
not entitled to the privileged mitigating circumstance of minority pursuant to Article 68 (2) of the Revised Penal
Code because when he testified on March 14, 2002, he was already 24 years old which means that in 1996, he was
already 18 years old.


Whether or not accused-appellant is entitled to the privileged mitigating circumstance of minority


Yes. The court ruled that since the prosecution was not able to prove the exact date and time when the rape was
committed, it was not certain that the crime of rape was committed on or after he reached 18 years old. In
assessing the attendance of the mitigating circumstance of minority, all doubts should be resolved in favor of the
accused, it being beneficial to the latter. While the original penalty of death was reduced to reclusion perpetua,
the same could not be made to the civil indemnity due the victim. The minority of the accused-appellant has no
bearing on the gravity and extent of injury caused to the victim and her family. There is no justifiable ground to
depart from the jurisprudential trend in the award of damages.