People v. Palaganas
G.R. No. 165483 September 12, 2006
Lessons Applicable: Aggravating circumstance
Laws Applicable: Art. 14
• January 16, 1998 8pm: Brothers Servillano, Melton and Michael Ferrer were on a drinking spree in their house because Melton visited his brothers in Pangasinan all the way from San Fernando, La Union.
• January 16, 1998 9:45 pm: The brothers decided to go to Tidbits Videoke bar to continue their drinking spree and to sing. They were the only customers
• January 16, 1998 10:30 pm: Jaime Palaganas, Ferdinand Palaganas and Virgilio Bautista arrived and they occupied a different table. When Jaime sang “My Way”, Melton sang along. But, Jaime resented this, approached the brother and said in Pangasinan dialect "As if you are tough guys. You are already insulting me in that way." Jaime struck Servillano’s head with the microphone and a fight ensued. Virgilio Bautista did not joined in and just left. During the rumble, Ferdinand went out of the bar. Michael was about to pursue him but was stopped by Servillano. They went back to continue to fight with Jaime. Edith Palaganas, sister of Jaime and the owner of the bar, arrived and pacified them. Servillano noticed that his wristwatch was missing. Since the brothers could not locate it inside the bar, they went outside. They saw Ferdinand at them and said to Rujjeric Palaganas "Oraratan paltog mo lara" meaning "They are the ones, shoot them." Rujjeric shot Servillano first at the left side of the abdomen penetrating his large intestine and urinary bladder causing him to fall on the ground then Melton with a fatal shot on the head and on the right thigh. When Servillano noticed that Melton was no longer moving, he told Michael "Bato, bato” and they threw stones at Rujjeric and Ferdinand. Michael was hit on the right shoulder.
• The police came and took the Ferrer brothers to Manaoag Hospital and later to Villaflor Hospital in Dagupan.
• Criminal Case No. U-9608: Shooting Servillano with unlicensed firearm
• Criminal Case No. U-9609: Shooting Melton with unlicensed firearm
• Criminal Case No. U-9610: Shooting Michael with unlicensed firearm
• Criminal Case No. U-9634: using a caliber .38 without first securing the necessary permit/license in violation to Comelec Res. 2958
• Rujjeric and Ferdinand entered separate pleas of "Not Guilty" Upon motion of Ferdinand, the four cases were consolidated.
• RTC: Rujjeric was guilty of the crime of Homicide and 2 counts of Frustrated Homicide but acquitted of the charge of Violation of COMELEC Resolution No. 2958 in relation to Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code while Ferdinand was acquitted of all the charges against him.
• CA Affirmed
• Rujjeric argued that all the elements of a valid self-defense are present in the instant case and, thus, his acquittal on all the charges is proper; that when he fired his gun, he was then a victim of an unlawful aggression perpetrated by the Ferrer brothers; that he, in fact, sustained an injury in his left leg and left shoulder caused by the stones thrown by the Ferrer brothers
ISSUE: W/N Rujjeric was guilty of the crime of Homicide and 2 counts of Frustrated Homicide
HELD: YES. AFFIRMED with the following MODIFICATIONS:
• Criminal Case No. U-9608: Shooting Servillano with unlicensed firearm - attempted homicide. There being a special aggravating circumstance of the use of an unlicensed firearm and applying the Indeterminate Sentence of Law, the penalty now becomes four (4) years and two (2) months of arresto mayor as minimum period to six (6) years of prision correccional as maximum period
• Criminal Case No. U-9609: Shooting Melton with unlicensed firearm - homicide is reclusion temporal - There being a special aggravating circumstance of the use of an unlicensed firearm and applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the penalty now is twelve (12) years of prision mayor as minimum period to twenty (20) years of reclusion temporal as maximum period
• Criminal Case No. U-9610: Shooting Michael with unlicensed firearm - frustrated homicide. There being a special aggravating circumstance of the use of an unlicensed firearm and applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the penalty now becomes six (6) years of prision correccional as minimum period to twelve (12) years of prision mayor as maximum period.
• petitioner argued that all the elements of a valid self-defense are present in the instant case and, thus, his acquittal on all the charges is proper; that when he fired his gun on that fateful night, he was then a victim of an unlawful aggression perpetrated by the Ferrer brothers; that he, in fact, sustained an injury in his left leg and left shoulder caused by the stones thrown by the Ferrer brothers
• ART. 11. Justifying circumstances. – The following do not incur any criminal liability:
• 1. Anyone who acts in defense of his person or rights, provided that the following circumstances concur;
• First. Unlawful aggression;
o no unlawful aggression on the part of the Ferrer brothers that justified the act of petitioner in shooting them. Ferrer brothers then were merely standing outside the videoke bar and were not carrying any weapon
o When the Ferrer brothers started throwing stones, petitioner was not in a state of actual or imminent danger considering the wide distance (4-5 meters) of the latter from the location of the former. He was still capable of avoiding the stones by running away or by taking cover. He could have also called or proceeded to the proper authorities for help
• Second. Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it;
o gun was far deadlier compared to the stones thrown by the Ferrer brothers.
• Third. Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. x x x.
• unlawful aggression is a primordial element in self-defense. It is an essential and indispensable requisite, for without unlawful aggression on the part of the victim
• As the burden of evidence is shifted on the accused to prove all the elements of self-defense, he must rely on the strength of his own evidence and not on the weakness of the prosecution
• 1.) In frustrated felony, the offender has performed all the acts of execution which should produce the felony as a consequence; whereas in attempted felony, the offender merely commences the commission of a felony directly by overt acts and does not perform all the acts of execution.
• 2.) In frustrated felony, the reason for the non-accomplishment of the crime is some cause independent of the will of the perpetrator; on the other hand, in attempted felony, the reason for the non-fulfillment of the crime is a cause or accident other than the offender's own spontaneous desistance.
• when the accused intended to kill his victim, as manifested by his use of a deadly weapon in his assault, and his victim sustained fatal or mortal wound/s but did not die because of timely medical assistance, the crime committed is frustrated murder or frustrated homicide depending on whether or not any of the qualifying circumstances under Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code are present. However, if the wound/s sustained by the victim in such a case were not fatal or mortal, then the crime committed is only attempted murder or attempted homicide.
• If there was no intent to kill on the part of the accused and the wound/s sustained by the victim were not fatal, the crime committed may be serious, less serious or slight physical injury
• Michal’s wound took six to eight days to heal - attempted homicide
• use of an unlicensed firearm - special aggravating circumstance by Republic Act. No. 8294 on June 6, 1997
• Generic aggravating circumstances are those that generally apply to all crimes such as those mentioned in Article 14, paragraphs No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 14, 18, 19 and 20, of the Revised Penal Code. It has the effect of increasing the penalty for the crime to its maximum period, but it cannot increase the same to the next higher degree. It must always be alleged and charged in the information, and must be proven during the trial in order to be appreciated. Moreover, it can be offset by an ordinary mitigating circumstance. On the other hand, special aggravating circumstance, CANNOT be offset by an ordinary mitigating circumstance
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