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Criminal Law Digests

Published on June 2016 | Categories: Types, School Work | Downloads: 14 | Comments: 0



{conspiracy, treachery}

Florencio, Eddie, Elynor, Franklin and Eric, all surnamed Agacer, are found guilty for the killing of a
common relative, Cesario Agacer. The appellants surrounded the victim and one of them set a fire to
keep Cesario from retreating. Franklin and Eric hit the deceased with stones, Florencio induces the
victim to come closer, was hit with a gunshot from Eddie and was shot with a bow and arrow by Elynor.
They left the crime scene together, onboard a tractor and a tricycle.
 Whether or not conspiracy was involved and if all appellants are liable for the murder
 Whether or not appellants are guilty of the aggravating circumstance of treachery
 YES. In the case at bar, conspiracy is evident in the way the appellants surprised, surrounded,
attacked and abandoned the deceased together. Proof of previous agreement is not essential
because all acted in unison pursuing one goal, which is to kill the victim. Distinguishing the fatal
blow is immaterial in indicting appellants for criminal liability; all are equally liable for murder
since conspiracy is present.
 YES. Treachery was present, fulfilling the conditions that first, the victim was not given the
opportunity to defend himself and second, that the means of execution was deliberate (evident
in the fact that the accused carried the weapons employed).

{self-defense, alevosia, evident premeditation, voluntary surrender}

On August 24, 2002, Diosdado Pido was shot, stabbed and hacked with 26 wounds. On the same night,
Edgar Concillado surrendered himself to the police. He was implicated along with his wife Dolores and
his cousin Erlito due to a witness testimony claiming that all accused jointly acted to commit murder.
The defense contends that Dolores and Erlito were not involved while Edgar only acted out of self
defense (when the deceased hacked him while he was urinating by a fence). The Regional Trial court
found all the accused guilty of murder and rejected the pleas for self-defense due to the fact that the
wounds inflicted makes the claim doubtful. Upon appeal, the Court of Appeals found fault in the
witness testimony and acquitted both Erlito and Dolores. Edgar was held liable only for homicide and
was granted a lower penalty due to voluntary surrender. The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling from
the Court of Appeals.
 Whether or not the appellant acted in self-defense
 Whether or not there was alevosia/treachery
 Whether or not there was evident premeditation
 Whether or not the appellant qualifies for the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender
 NO. The burden of proof in claiming self-defense is shifted to the accused after admittance to
the crime. The nature, number and location of wounds inflicted on the deceased as opposed to
three superficial wounds on the accused were seen to belie the plea for self-defense.
 NO. There was a lack of evidence to establish alevosia/treachery since the requisites that means
and methods of execution to ensure safety from defense of the victim; and that these were
deliberately adopted. This must be present and seen by a witness at the inception of the attack.
 NO. There was no proof showing that the crime was planned before its execution.
 YES. The accused immediately surrendered to the authorities on the same night of the event,
clearly in a spontaneous manner and before an actual arrest. The requisites of voluntary
surrender were clearly met in pursuant to Art 13 on mitigating circumstance.

{RA 9344, retroactive application}

The petitioners Salvador Atizado and Salvador Monreal are among those convicted for the murder of
Rogelio Llona and were sentenced to an imprisonment of Reclusion Perpetua. They were charged P
50,000 for civil indemnity, P 30,000 for actual damages and P 50,000 as moral damages.
In pursuant to RA 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act Monreal’s penalty was reduced since he
was a minor during the said incident. The said amendment was applied retroactively and the sentence
was already fulfilled upon said action. The court called for Salvador Monreal’s immediate release. In
order to conform to prevailing jurisprudence however, both Atizado and Monreal however were liable
for the amended costs of damages at P 75,000 for death indemnity, P 75,000 as moral damages, P
30,000 for actual damages and an additional P 30,000 for exemplary damages due to the aggravating
circumstance of treachery.
 Whether or not there should be retroactive application of the law on the ground of a modifying
circumstance on minority in pursuant to the provisions under RA9344.
 YES. Laws can be applied retroactively they are favorable to the accused. The age of criminal
liability was raised through RA 9344 which provides that criminals above 15 but below 18 are
subject to a penalty lower that what the law normally prescribes. Pursuant to Article 68 of the
RPC, Monreal’s penalty should be reduced from Reclusion Perpetua to the indeterminate
sentence of prision mayor (6 yrs 1 day) as minimum to reclusion temporal (14 yrs 8 mos 1 day)
as maximum. In the case at bar, Monreal has already served more than 16 years in prison and is
therefore qualified for immediate release.

{qualifying circumstance of relationship}

Isidro Flores raped [AAA] who is a minor under 15 years old. The victim is the adoptive daughter of
Flores’ wife. The 13 year-old victim allege that she has been repeatedly raped since she was 11 years
old but the court appreciated just two counts of rape in accordance with physical evidence examined by
the medico legal. The lower courts appreciated the qualifying circumstances of relationship on the
stipulated fact that he is her guardian. The Supreme Court rejected this, reducing the sentence to
simple rape but adding the penalty of exemplary damages.

 Whether or not the qualifying circumstance of relationship can be appreciated
 NO. The aggravating circumstance where penalty is raised if the offender is the victim’s legal
guardian was not appreciated in the case at bar. Recent jurisprudence dictates that
guardianship must be legally appointed and that the extreme punishment of death cannot be
subjected to mere stipulation or admissions.

{Prospective application of penal laws}

Sr. Insp. Jerry C. Valeroso was arrested in relation to a kidnapping case but was implicated due
to illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. While the petitioner is a policeman, the
firearm confiscated was not issued to him and was licensed under a different name. The Court
of Appeals modified the sentence from the original penalty of reclusion temporal as minimum
to reclusion perpetua as maximum was reduced to prision correctional in pursuant to RA 8294.
In addition, petitioner was charged with a fine of P 15,000 RA 8294 amended PD 1866 which
prescribes the heavier penalty. The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the Court of Appeals.
 Whether or not the rule on prospectivity should be upheld
 NO. While the general rule prescribes that the law should not have retroactive application, as
an exception, a retroactive or ex post facto law may be applied if it is favorable to the accused.

{mala in se vs mala prohibita}

Antonio Tan, Danilo Domingo and Robert Lim were sued by the employees of their dissolved
company Footjoy Industrial Corporation for breaching the SSS law after failing to pay the
membership dues. They allege that they must not be held accountable since the company’s
downfall was caused by economic conditions and a fire that caused some ruins. The DOJ
supported this petition and reversed the resolution in favor of petitioner. The Court of Appeals
however rejected the DOJ resolution and ruled that petitioners should be held liable regardless
of a show of good faith or lack of intent in the commission of the crime. The Supreme Court
affirmed the ruling.
 Whether or not good faith and lack of intent are material in the application of a special law
 NO. Special laws like the SSS Law are mala prohibita or are deemed wrong only due to positive
law. Intent is only material in the commission of crimes characterized as mala in se which are
inherently evil or publicly condemned.

{overt or external act}

The victim was induced to drink beer with the petitioner. As soon as she got intoxicated,
petitioner and his co-accused took her away, held her down and took off her pants. Petitioner
was able to insert a finger into her vagina before she was able to free herself. The lower courts
convicted the offender of attempted rape.
The accused petitioned before the Supreme Court citing Baleros, Jr. vs People where the
offender was only convicted of just vexation. In the cited case, the offender pressed a cloth
soaked with chemical while pressed on top of the victim. The court appreciated the fact that
both the offender and the victim were fully-clothed and that there seem to be no attempt to
undress the victim. The court ruled that rape cannot be appreciated without proof beyond
reasonable doubt.
 Whether or not the crime can be reduced from attempted rape to mere acts of lasciviousness or
unjust vexation
 NO. Unlike the jurisprudence cited by the side of the accused, the overt or external acts of the
offender from intoxicating and undressing the victim, clearly points to the intention of
committing rape. Attempted rape instead of just vexation then is the proper sanction.

{complex crime under 1
clause of Act 48}

Jesus Paycana Jr. was indicted for the complex crime of parricide with unintentional abortion,
having killed his wife who was seven months pregnant. According to the testimony of their
daughter, the accused strangled and stabbed his wife who incurred 14 wounds.
He claims that he caught a man coming out of their house the previous night; and after not
getting an adequate answer from the wife, asked to live separately. According to him, he was
on his way to leave when his wife first attacked him with a knife. The courts did not appreciate
his plea of self-defense because aside from the number of wounds on the victim, evidence
suggests that his wounds were possibly self-inflicted.
 Whether or not the accused can be charged of a complex crime
 YES. The first clause of Article 48 defines a complex crime which is the commission of two or
more grave or less grave felonies with a single act. It applies to the case at bar where an
intentional abortion was committed as a consequence of killing its mother.

{indeterminate sentence law}

Rodolfo Vasquez, along with his co-accused were charged with estafa for inducing Gemma Argoso to
loan out money under the belief that said funds will be used to finance a mango plantation. The
accused allowed the complainant to inspect a piece of land planted with some mango trees and even
acquired the help of a certain Filipina Antonio to act as a broker. It was only after Vasquez failed to pay
the loan that Argoso discovered that the property mortgaged was not what she inspected but a barren
land in a mountainous area.

The trial court penalized the petitioner with the indeterminate prison term of 17 yrs, 4 mos and 1 day of
reclusion temporal as minimum to 20 years of reclusion temporal as maximum. The Court of Appeals
modified the indeterminate penalty as 12 years of prision mayor as minimum to 30 years of reclusion
perpetua as maximum.
 Whether or not the lower courts prescribed the correct penalty
 NO. The Supreme Court further modified the penalty by highlighting the fact that the lower
court incorrectly applied the penalty under PD 818 which describes estafa committed issuing
bouncing checks. The penalty was modified in pursuant to Article 315 of the RPC which provides
that for fraud exceeding P 22,000, the maximum penalty of prision correctional shall be applied
with the additional 1 year for every additional P 10,000 following a maximum limit of 20 years.
In accordance with the court’s mandate to construe law in favor of the accused however, the
modifying circumstance that the amount exceeds P 22,000 should not be considered in the
initial determination of the indeterminate penalty.

{extinction of criminal liability}

The lower courts charged Florenda Castro for the crime of parricide and murder for the death
of her husband, Elpido and her father-in-law Alfredo. Her co-appellant Christopher Talita was
charged with double-murder for the actual shooting of the said victims. Florenda was spotted
in the get-away car that picked Talita up from the crime scene. The lower courts found her
guilty of the said crime. Upon awaiting the final trial before the Supreme Court however, the
accused died while under the custody of the Bureau of Corrections in Muntinlupa.
 Whether or not the court should extinguish Florenda Castro’s criminal and civil liabilities
 YES. In pursuant to Article 89 of the RPC which established that criminal liability is totally
extinguished by the death of the convict before final judgment.

{effect of absolute repeal}

The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) ordered the Interport Resources Corporation (IRC) to
send a copy of its contracted agreement with Ganda Holdings Berhad (GHB). SEC states that
the IRC failed to make public disclosures regarding its negotiations with GHB and that directors
are guilty of trading shares that were used as insider information. IRC complies with the order
but later received an order citing its violation of the Rules on Disclosure of Material Facts as
well as a violation of Sec 30 in relation to Sec 36 of the Revised Securities Act. The IRC then files
for an Omnibus Motion declaring that SEC does not have jurisdiction because of PD 1758
amending Section 8 of PD 902-A which transferred sole jurisdiction for investigations to the
Prosecution and Enforcement Department (PED). The appellate court ruled in favor of IRC and
inhibiting SEC from taking action. Before final judgment, the section creating PED was repealed
by the Securities Regulation Code (RA 8799).
 Whether or not SEC has jurisdiction to investigate the IRC
 YES. Despite the abolition of the PED, the new Securities Regulation Code prescribes similar
roles like that of the repealed act. An exception to an absolute repeal is when acts merely
reenact the substantive provisions of a repealed law. In the case at bar, the new code retains
the illegality of the acts committed by the IRC and thus maintains the authority vested upon the

{corpus delicti}

The trial court charged Budoy Gonzales with the crime of arson. The Court of Appeals and the
Supreme Court affirmed this decision. According to the version of the prosecution, the accused
threatened to burn the house of Salvacion Loresto suspects the complainant Salvacion Loresto
of reporting his involvement in jueteng operations. The complainant then reported the
incident to the police who stayed to stand guard within the perimeters of her house.
Complainant claimed to have witnessed the accused start the fire. The police thereby ran after
and caught the accused.
 Whether or not having the complainant as sole witness and inconsistency in her testimonies
play a part in the prosecution’s failure to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt
 NO. The court appreciates corpus delicti (substance of a crime) which speaks of the fact that the
crime has actually been committed. In cases of arson, the corpus delicti rule is satisfied by the
proof of the bare occurrence of a fire.

{proof beyond reasonable doubt}

The lower courts charged Larry Erguiza with one count of rape. According to the victim, she
was at the mango orchard with her friends Joy and Ricky Agbuya at around 5 pm when her
shorts got hooked on the fence. She claims that her friends left her, which gave the accused
the opportunity to rape and threaten her to silence. The victim got pregnant and upon this
discovery, she was compelled to relay this story to her relatives. The family of the accused
allegedly offered the family of the victim 1 million pesos so that the case would not be filed in
court; the family of the accused however claims the opposite and that the family of the victim
asked for the settlement which they were unable to comply with because they could not afford
The accused presented the alibi that he was at the house of the victim’s family till 5 pm doing
some repairs. Upon coming home, he was requested to fetch the hilot Juanita Angeles to help
with the delivery of his child. Angeles testified that he never left the side of his wife till she
gave birth at 3 am the next day.
The victim’s friend Joy Agbuya testified that she never brought her brother Ricky along to the
mango orchard and that she and the victim usually goes there at around 1 pm. She also says
that she did not leave her friend that day her shorts got caught on the fence. During that day,
Joy claims that they parted ways along their Aunt Beth’s house. Asked about their relationship,
Joy told the court that they were no longer friends after quarreling since the victim’s mom
instructed her to lie to the court that she left her friend behind.
 Whether or not the prosecution was able to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt
 NO. The conflicting testimonies between Joy and the complainant as well as the testimony of
Juanita that established the appellant’s alibi poses some doubt and bar the court from the
conviction of rape with moral certainty. Following the equipoise rule where evidence seem
equally balanced, the court is compelled to rule in favor of the accused. Furthermore, it would
have been the duty of the prosecution to present its case with such a manner that conviction is
the inevitable result such that the court will not be burdened of the thought that an innocent
man will be imprisoned the rest of his life.

{effect of conspiracy upon criminal liability of conspirators}

The accused F01 Felipe Dela Cruz, Audi Dona, Alfredo Concepcion, Eduardo Palacpac, Bernardo
Ranara, Jomari de los Reyes, Dominador Recepcion and Robert Alfonso took Ruben Labajata, a
jeepney driver (who testified as witness), hostage in order to carry out a robbery. The
appellants raided a 7-Eleven Convenience Store where two victims, the guard Nestor Mayagma
and a customer Elmer Duque were killed by F01 Dela Cruz and Diosdado Recepcion (deceased)
respectively. After robbing the convenience store, the party stopped by a Petron Station and
took some money as well. Ruben brought them to Tarlac where the police were able to track
the offenders down with his help. The lower courts charged the appellants of Robbery with
Homicide and Robbery in Band. The Supreme Court affirmed the first but did not appreciate
the aggravating circumstance for the second count because of procedural errors. Penalties
were also adjusted to conform with prevailing jurisprudence.
 Whether or not all are liable for the special complex crime of robbery with homicide
 YES. Upon establishing conspiracy between all appellants, all of the accused are liable for the
action of any of their members unless it is shown that there was an attempt to stop the actor
from performing the crime. In the case at bar, conspiracy was established upon the factual
evidence that all accused were together before and after the commission of the crime. It is
unnecessary to establish that there was prior agreement; it is enough that the members were
united in the execution of their purpose.

{RA 9346}

Claudio Zulueta was charged with raping his daughter on three counts of rape. The trial court
sentenced the accused to death penalty in pursuant to the penalty in the RPC. The Court of
Appeals reduced the sentence to reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment. The Supreme Court
affirmed the decision of the appellate court.
 Whether or not the trial court erred in prescribing the death penalty
 YES. In pursuant to RA 9346 amending the maximum penalty of death penalty to reclusion

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