G.R. No.L-47722 July 27, 1943
Lesson applicable: mitigating circumstances
Ø Captain Godofredo Monsod, Constabulary Provincial Inspector at Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, received from Major Guido a telegram of the following tenor: "Information received escaped convict Anselmo Balagtas with bailarina and Irene in Cabanatuan get him dead or alive." Captain Monsod accordingly called for his first sergeant and asked that he be given four men.
Ø The same instruction was given to the chief of police Oanis who was likewise called by the Provincial Inspector.
Ø Defendants Oanis and Galanta then went to the room of Irene, and an seeing a man sleeping with his back towards the door where they were, simultaneously or successively fired at him with their .32 and .45 caliber revolvers. Awakened by the gunshots, Irene saw her paramour already wounded, and looking at the door where the shots came, she saw the defendants still firing at him. Shocked by the entire scene. Irene fainted; it turned out later that the person shot and killed was not the notorious criminal Anselmo Balagtas but a peaceful and innocent citizen named Serapio Tecson, Irene's paramour.
Ø According to Appellant Galanta, when he and chief of police Oanis arrived at the house, the latter asked Brigida where Irene's room was. Brigida indicated the place, and upon further inquiry as to the whereabouts of Anselmo Balagtas, she said that he too was sleeping in the same room.
ISSUE: W/N they may, upon such fact, be held responsible for the death thus caused to Tecson
HELD: appellants are hereby declared guilty of murder with the mitigating circumstance
Ø ignorantia facti excusat, but this applies only when the mistake is committed without fault or carelessness
Ø appellants 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.
Ø "No unnecessary or unreasonable force shall be used in making an arrest, and the person arrested shall not be subject to any greater restraint than is necessary for his detention."
Ø a peace officer cannot claim exemption from criminal liability if he uses unnecessary force or violence in making an arrest
Ø The crime committed by appellants is not merely criminal negligence, the killing being intentional and not accidental. In criminal negligence, the injury caused to another should be unintentional, it being simply the incident of another act performed without malice.
Ø 2 requisites in order that the circumstance may be taken as a justifying one:
- offender acted in the performance of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right-present
- injury or offense committed be the necessary consequence of the due performance of such duty or the lawful exercise of such right or office.-not present
Ø According to article 69 of the Revised Penal Code, the penalty lower by 1 or 2 degrees than that prescribed by law shall, in such case, be imposed.